68 unknowns to be stars of this year's NDP theme song

It's the first time the theme song will be sung by ordinary S'poreans

It is usually a star who renders the National Day Parade (NDP) theme song, in one of the highlights of that evening.

Kit Chan raised lumps in people's throats with Home in 1998. Five years later, Stefanie Sun did it with One United People while Singapore Idols Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza too have had their chance in the spotlight.

But this year, for the first time, the NDP theme song will be performed by 68 unknowns.

The aim is to give "everyday Singaporeans" the chance to be the stars of the parade, said the NDP 2013 creative director, actress Selena Tan.

The still-secret song will be unveiled on July 10 at a press conference, after which it will be played on the radio and the music video broadcast on television.

The singers were picked from public auditions, attended by more than 200 adults and children in April.

Among them are the Chiews, who, for the past two months, have known what they will be doing every weekend as a family up until Aug 9 - practising for the parade. Aside from the performance, Mr Chiew Chun Wee, 38, his wife June, 36, and daughters Faye,11, and Raine, nine, will also record the theme song in a studio and star in the video.

It was by chance that mum and dad also got to sing alongside their children.

The plan was for only the girls, who sing in events at East Spring Primary, their school, to try out.

But the judges asked Mr and Mrs Chiew to audition too after finding out that the couple had been avid singers in their school days. Mrs Chiew is also a freelance pianist and piano teacher.

Mr Chiew, who is the regional policy head of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said he and his wife were initially reluctant to take part as they were not sure if they could commit to the frequent practice sessions. He also travels at least once a month for work. But they decided to go ahead after thinking about it for a week.

Said Mrs Chiew: "It is the chance of a lifetime to perform in front of the nation. Plus, we get to bond and have fun as a family."

The Chiews also have a three-year-old son, Ayden.

The only family in the choir of 68, they practise singing the theme song in the car on the way to rehearsals. The girls also sing at home with mum on the piano.

Mrs Chiew said with a laugh: "The girls will say, 'Mummy, we have to sing quietly. The theme song is still a secret!'"