20 harps go on the move for ChildAid concert at Resorts World Theatre

Music director Julian Wong (right) conducts the Rave Harpers, the country's leading harp orchestra, which will open ChildAid 2016.
Music director Julian Wong (right) conducts the Rave Harpers, the country's leading harp orchestra, which will open ChildAid 2016.PHOTO: SPH

Sometimes even angels need help moving their musical instruments.

Yesterday, 20 harps valued at $388,400, were moved from the SPH Media Centre in Genting Lane to Resorts World Theatre at Resorts World Sentosa, in preparation for the ChildAid concert this Friday and Saturday.

In its 12th year, the show is organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, in aid of the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and the Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BTBAF).

Twenty harpists from Rave Harpers, a local ensemble, will open the concert with the ChildAid theme song A World To Imagine, alongside 11-year-old guzheng student Sylvia Tan.

The theme, Living Dreams, is a celebration of the fearless pursuit of one's dreams despite challenges. About 170 performers, aged 19 and below, are in the 90-minute show .

ChildAid's creative director, Mr Jeremiah Choy, described the logistical aspect as a "nightmare".

"It is not that the harps are heavy, as we can easily trolley them around. But they are expensive and delicate. The parents (of harpists) were very supportive, and either hired Maxi Cabs or drove the harps to SPH Media Centre where they were rehearsing."

Besides the performers, there are 120 backstage crew such as designers, technical assistants, teachers and instructors.

"We have to cater lunch, tea and dinner for them on rehearsals and actual days," said Mr Choy.

Last year, the concert raised nearly $2 million for STSPMF, which gives financial assistance to children from low-income families to help them through school, and BTBAF, which provides fully-sponsored arts training for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

UPDATE: Tickets for the concert are sold out. The public can support the two charities by donating to http://bit.do/ChildAid2016