Young stars raise $2.1m at ChildAid

The 13th edition of the annual charity concert ChildAid raised more than $2.1 million. More than 190 performers aged five to 18 took to the stage to showcase different genres of performing arts.
Young performers (first row, from left) Laura Maurer-Stroh and Aadeetiya Jayashanker, both aged 11; Estovan Cheah, seven; Cerilynn Law, 14; and Syah Rizuan Huslan, 12; (second row, from left) Mr Warren Fernandez, The Straits Times' editor and editor-
The DanceSport Academy’s team performing a dance to the song Japanese Rumba.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Young performers (first row, from left) Laura Maurer-Stroh and Aadeetiya Jayashanker, both aged 11; Estovan Cheah, seven; Cerilynn Law, 14; and Syah Rizuan Huslan, 12; (second row, from left) Mr Warren Fernandez, The Straits Times' editor and editor-
Dancers from the STEP Youth Crew showing off their moves to the K-pop song Not Today as part of the South Korea performance segment.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Over 190 performers put on concert with martial arts, Bollywood dance and more

Young talents took to the stage last night to raise more than $2.1 million at the 13th edition of the annual charity concert ChildAid.

More than 190 performers aged five to 18 dazzled an audience of 1,325 at Resorts World Theatre with martial arts, Bollywood dance and more in the concert, organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times.

The 90-minute show, An Amazing, Awesome Asian Adventure, is the first ChildAid concert since its inception in 2005 to feature a narrative arc that links the different acts.

It follows the journey of four children whose dream masks are stolen by a witch. To get back their masks, they follow clues given by an imp, which lead them on a whirlwind adventure through Asia.

The four lead roles were played by Gisele Chiam and Emiliano Cyrus, both nine, and Neo Le Yang and Lilo Baier, both 11.

Mr Helmi Yusof, co-organising chairman of ChildAid, described the 12-year-old concert as "a teenager eager to shed the last traces of childhood and come into his or her own".

"ChildAid 2017 has successfully made the transition from a pure concert to a narrative musical format, and will hopefully continue to find new ways of expression from here on," said the arts correspondent for The Business Times.

Eleven-year-old Lilo Baier being carried by Neo Le Yang (in blue), 11, and Emiliano Cyrus, nine, to the beat of the Rice Rice Baby Medley, as they take centre stage among stars from the Kids Performing Academy of the Arts. They were part of ChildAid'
Young stars shine in night of music at ChildAid: Eleven-year-old Lilo Baier being carried by Neo Le Yang (in blue), 11, and Emiliano Cyrus, nine, to the beat of the Rice Rice Baby Medley, as they take centre stage among stars from the Kids Performing Academy of the Arts. They were part of ChildAid's first musical last night at the Resorts World Theatre. Featuring a cast of more than 190 aged five to 18, and directed by Singapore's singer-songwriter and Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee, the annual charity concert raised more than $2.1 million. The theme for the concert, organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, was An Amazing, Awesome Asian Adventure, celebrating the diversity of Asian cultures. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, was the concert's guest of honour.

At a pre-show reception, he mingled with representatives from ChildAid's corporate sponsors Citi Singapore, HSBC and United Overseas Bank (UOB), each of which donated $500,000 and more, as well as Suntory Beverage & Food Asia, which donated $100,000. Resorts World Sentosa was the official venue partner.

Young performers (first row, from left) Laura Maurer-Stroh and Aadeetiya Jayashanker, both aged 11; Estovan Cheah, seven; Cerilynn Law, 14; and Syah Rizuan Huslan, 12; (second row, from left) Mr Warren Fernandez, The Straits Times' editor and editor-
Performers on stage for the concert finale last night. The 90-minute show, An Amazing, Awesome Asian Adventure, is the first ChildAid concert since its inception in 2005 to feature a narrative arc linking different acts. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

This brings the collective amount raised by ChildAid over the years to more than $16 million. The funds raised will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BTBAF). The former pays for socially disadvantaged school-going children's meals and transport fees, while the latter supports financially disadvantaged children's lessons in the performing arts.

UOB deputy chairman and chief executive Wee Ee Cheong said: "We are heartened to be able to play a part in cultivating the dreams of our young through supporting ChildAid, which is aligned with UOB's long-term commitment towards supporting art, children and education."

Helming the show as artistic director for the first time was singer-songwriter and Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee. The show was produced by creative consultancy company Dick Lee Asia.

Young performers (first row, from left) Laura Maurer-Stroh and Aadeetiya Jayashanker, both aged 11; Estovan Cheah, seven; Cerilynn Law, 14; and Syah Rizuan Huslan, 12; (second row, from left) Mr Warren Fernandez, The Straits Times' editor and editor-
Young performers (first row, from left) Laura Maurer-Stroh and Aadeetiya Jayashanker, both aged 11; Estovan Cheah, seven; Cerilynn Law, 14; and Syah Rizuan Huslan, 12; (second row, from left) Mr Warren Fernandez, The Straits Times’ editor and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English/Malay/ Tamil Media Group; Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee and his wife Mrs Lee; and ChildAid artistic director Dick Lee; (third row, from left) Mr Daniel Quek, vice-president, corporate affairs, Suntory Beverage & Food Asia; Mr Paul McCarroll, chief information officer and head of Citi Technology Infrastructure, Citi Asia Pacific; Mr Helmi Yusof, The Business Times’ arts correspondent and co-organising chairman of ChildAid; Mr Anurag Mathur, HSBC Bank (Singapore) head of retail banking and wealth management; Mr Wong Wei Kong, The Business Times’ editor; Mr Choo Kee Siong, managing director and head of enterprise banking and commercial banking at UOB; Mr Marc Lim, ST news editor; and Ms Lee Shi Ruh, executive vice-president, financial services, Resorts World Sentosa. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The concert's performers ranged from the very young - Megan Phuan, five, and Jair Chan, six, who played a piano duet Rice Rice Baby Medley - to those in their late teens. Dancers Xindan Fu and Nigel Tan - both 18 and the oldest in the group - broke out their Korean dance moves to the K-pop song Not Today.

Singapore-born and Melbourne-based singer Natalie Ong, who was one of the finalists on The X Factor Australia last year, guest-starred in the show as the witch. Said the 16-year-old: "I am really privileged to be part of this amazing cause. I have been having so much fun, and made many new friends."


Natalie Ong (in white), 16, together with the main characters, talking about pursuing one's dreams through action. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

 
 

For 14-year-old Nur Amirah Rohaizad, singing in the ChildAid choir has been "quite a journey".

"I am nervous and excited," she said. Since last year, the Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School student has been part of the youth programme at arts training centre 10 Square, supported by BTBAF.

Not only has the aspiring singer and dancer been exposed to different genres of art through the programme, but she has also learnt about behind-the-scenes arts management. She hopes to do more of this in the future.

"Even after I graduate from 10 Square, I want to come back and help out backstage and be a teacher to the younger kids," she said.

The show runs for another night at 7.30pm today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Young stars raise $2.1m at ChildAid'. Print Edition | Subscribe