More than 150 young performers took their talents to the stage and helped raise more than $2 million at the annual ChildAid children's charity concert.
They dazzled in front of about 1,500 people at Resorts World Sentosa last night. The 90-minute show started with 20 harpists from local ensemble Rave Harpists, who opened the night with the ChildAid theme song, A World To Imagine.
By the end of the concert, which also runs tonight, $2,049,147 had been raised for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which helps needy students pay for transport and meals, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which supports arts training for financially disadvantaged students.
This year's concert, themed Living Dreams to celebrate the fearless pursuit of dreams despite challenges, managed to surpass the $1.98 million raised last year.
This 12th edition of ChildAid, organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, features 153 young performers aged 19 and below. They performed pieces by composers and musicians who inspired them. Evan Joel De Silva, 11, played Funky Tango, an original by his idol, ukulele virtuoso Kalei Gamiao, and Chen Jing, seven, played a waltz by her favourite composer, Chopin.
In attendance were President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who was the guest of honour, and Mrs Mary Tan, along with Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry.
Since its inception in 2005, the annual ChildAid charity concert has raised over $14 million. This year's top donors are Citi Singapore, HSBC and United Overseas Bank (UOB), which donated at least $500,000 each. Other sponsors include Cogent Holdings and Suntory Beverage and Food Asia, which pledged $100,000, with its staff helping to raise $18,000.
Key donors highlighted the work done by the two funds. Said Mr Amol Gupte, Citi's head of Asean and country officer, Singapore: "With the concert's theme of Living Dreams, we hope that the talented performers as well as the beneficiaries will have the courage to pursue their dreams, tenacity to fulfil their aspirations and live their lives to their fullest potential."
The group general manager and chief executive of HSBC Singapore, Mr Guy Harvey-Samuel, said: "HSBC takes a long-term approach in community involvement. That is why we are delighted to have supported ChildAid since its inception, having seen at first hand the difference it has made to education."
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and CEO of UOB, said: "At UOB, we believe in giving back to the community by investing in what is important to the future of a thriving society and will stand the test of time: art, children and education."
This year's ChildAid is produced by arts and cultural non-profit organisation, The RICE Company. Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa, is the main venue sponsor. The second show is at 7.30pm tonight.