Childaid raises over $2m

The audience held foam lightsticks of about an arm’s length, while the young talents performed against LED screens showing visual projections.

The young ones wowed the crowd with a high-voltage performance at the Electric Edition-themed ChildAid concert organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times on Friday night.

In its eighth year, the annual charity event raised a record sum of over $2 million – higher than last year’s $1.88 million.

Proceeds will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which helps needy schoolchildren with school-related expenses, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which provides funding to nurture the artistic talents of underprivileged children.

For the first time, the sold-out concert was held at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Grand Theatre.

MBS is ChildAid’s official venue partner, while Citi and HSBC banks are its main sponsors.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Mrs Mary Tan, who were the guests of honour at yesterday’s gala opening night, as well as MBS senior vice-president of finance Robert Harayda, witnessed the cheque presentation by Singapore Press Holdings chief executive Alan Chan to the beneficiaries.

Some 2,000 people attended the concert last night.

The opening act, entitled Magic Bows, featured 70 members of the Orchestra of the Music Makers and about 40 performers, including two playing an electric violin and electric cello.

For the opening act, ChildAid artistic director and 2008 Cultural Medallion recipient Iskandar Ismail conducted the orchestra and wrote an original composition.

While the act featured mainly string instruments, the tempo was upbeat, in line with the concert theme.

Said pianist Nicole Mok, 11, of Wellington Primary School, who typically plays classical music: “It’s a completely different style… but I was very excited to try different types of music.”

Helmed by Mr Ismail and the ChildAid show director, Mr Jeremiah Choy of Orangedot Productions, the show featured 210 young talents performing in 16 segments. Performers included youths with fan followings on YouTube, such as 15-year-old rapper Toh Yi Fan, who has more than 5,000 fans, and dance groups such as Saltare Beats, a beneficiary of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

There were also award-winning musicians, including three contestants from this year’s South-east Asia Steinway Youth Piano Competition – grand prize winner Hsieh Wei Ting, 16, from Taiwan, and 15-year-olds Nguyen Le Binh Anh from Vietnam and Gun Chaikittiwatana from Thailand.

Violinist Cylvin Sim was thrilled to perform at the venue.

The 10-year-old from Nanyang Primary, who previously watched the musical Wicked at Marina Bay Sands said: “Whenever I watch plays here, I wonder when I can go up to perform as well.”

The concert continued on Saturday night, when Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong was the guest of honour.

Source: The Straits Times