Call for young talent to take the stage

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Young budding talents who can emcee, sing, dance, play a musical instrument or do circus or acrobatic acts can now apply to be part of the annual charity concert, ChildAid 2013.

The concert, which is in aid of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, will be staged on Dec 6 and 7 at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor of The Straits Times, which launched the fund in 2002 to help children from low-income families with their school-related expenses, said: "It's all about children helping children. ChildAid showcases the skills of some amazing young talent, to benefit some of their peers who need help from the School Pocket Money Fund."

Since it was started in 2005, the ChildAid concerts have raised a total of $7.82 million. It is now into its ninth year.

Though this year's concert theme has not been revealed, ChildAid show director Jeremiah Choy, of Orangedot Productions, said this year's theme will be "carnival and colourful in nature".

Last year's concert was themed The Electric Edition and had a 210-strong cast of performers.

Mr Alvin Tay, organising chairman of this year's charity talent show and editor of The Business Times, said: "Many of these ChildAid performers have moved on to win international music competitions and awards, as well as gained admission to prestigious music schools overseas."

Mr Tay also chairs the The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which helps artistically gifted but less privileged children to develop their talent.

Last year's concert featured two young musicians who are now both international award-winners. One of them is flautist Ong Yi Ting, nine, who won the first prize at the 11th International Russian Rotary Music Competition, held last month in Moscow.

The other is home-grown violinist Gabriel Ng, 17, the recipient of the HSBC Youth Excellence Award in 2006, and winner of the Bach Prize at the 2012 Menuhin Violin Competition.

Interested youths between the ages of six and 19 can e-mail childaid@sph.com.sg or go to www.straitstimes.com.sg/childaid for more information. Entries should reach the organisers by June 8.