Ordinary citizens to sing NDP 2013 theme song

IT WILL not be Kit Chan, Taufik Batisah or Stefanie Sun singing the theme song at this year's National Day Parade (NDP).

A band of 68 singers will take the stage instead, including Syaiful Ariffin Abdul Rahman and Dania Darwisyan Aslam.

Don't recognise the names? That is because the parade wants ordinary Singaporeans to occupy centre stage, as part of its theme "Many Stories... One Singapore".

Mr Syaiful, 22, and Ms Dania, 21, met as students at ITE College East, and formed the vocal group Heartvox with four others. They will perform with other members of the public in a segment dubbed Sing A Nation during the parade.

They will also record the theme song in a studio and star in its music video.

"That was one of the first things I said I wanted to do when I came on board," said theatre veteran and comedienne Selena Tan of Dim Sum Dollies fame, who is the parade's creative director.

"No offence to the celebrities or stars. I mean it's great that they sing National Day songs, but it's time that we get people from everywhere in Singapore, to get the chance to be the celebrities themselves."

The 68 singers were chosen out of more than 200 who tried their luck at public auditions last month.

"For most of us, it's been our dream since a young age (to perform at NDP)," said Mr Syaiful.

Added Ms Dania: "It's a once in a lifetime chance."

The group of six friends have kept Heartvox going despite graduating and going their separate ways soon after they formed the band in 2010.

They are more used to performing at low-key charity shows and events, and NDP 2013 will be their biggest stage appearance to date.

"We're going to be performing for thousands, the whole nation, and for millions on television - Oh my God," said Mr Syaiful.

A vivid memory of dancing and singing to the Olivia Newton- John tune Xanadu as a 12-year- old at NDP helped shape Ms Tan's vision of this year's celebration.

"This gives a chance for everybody to come together to sing loud, sing proud, sing for Singapore."