This year's 11th edition of ChildAid, one of Singapore's biggest annual children's charity concerts, will feature performers cherry-picked by the organisers. It is the first time that talented youngsters have not been invited to audition for a chance to perform at the event.
Ms Serene Goh, 43, ChildAid co-organising chairman and editor of The Straits Times' Schools programme, says: "SG50 yielded such an array of talent that the committee decided to round them up for this year's showcase."
The concert will be held on Dec 4 and 5 at the Grand Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands, the event's official venue partner. It will feature 19 acts and 123 performers, aged seven to 19 years and from diverse backgrounds.
Among the performers is cellist Dan Yuat Ian, eight, who will be playing Can You Read My Mind by John Williams and Leslie Bricusse and Moses Fantasy (Variation On One String) by Paganini.
BOOK IT / CHILDAID 2015
WHERE: Grand Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue
WHEN: Dec 4 and 5, 7.30pm
ADMISSION: Tickets at $18, $28 and $38 from Marina Bay Sands (call 6688-8826 or go to www.marinabaysands.com/ticketing)
INFO: Ticket sales start on Monday at 9am
The Primary 3 pupil from Nanyang Primary School, who performed at last year's President's Star Charity and Symphony 92.4 Young Talents Project, says: "I have been rehearsing and practising my parts individually and I'm looking forward to the combined rehearsals in late November so I can meet and collaborate with the other performers. I also feel honoured that I will be able to help needy children in a small way."
ChildAid is organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times in support of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. Over the years, it has featured children who became stars later on, such as singer-actor Nathan Hartono, pianist Abigail Sin and singer Farisha Ishak, who performed at ChildAid in 2010 and won The Final 1 singing competition in 2013.
Cultural Medallion recipient and jazz maestro Jeremy Monteiro makes his debut as ChildAid's music director. The 55-year-old says: "It will be a fantastic showcase of young talents performing their renditions and interpretations of popular, jazz and classical music."
The theme of this year's fundraiser is Be The Light. Its theme song of the same name is composed and written by music conductor and arranger Julian Wong, 27, and performed by singer Amni Musfirah, 20, both ChildAid alumni.
Other original compositions to be performed include Young by singer-songwriter Lewis Loh, 19.
This year's music programme will feature collaborative pieces among the performers, such as arrangements of the Game Of Thrones theme song by Singaporean Lubin Chee, 18, on the cello and Indonesian Clarissa Tamara, 16, on the violin.
Dance crew Sugar Rush from The Little Arts Academy will perform a number choreographed to ChildAid's original theme song, A World To Imagine, composed in 2006 by the late Iskandar Ismail, who was involved in ChildAid from its second edition in 2006 to last year.
The seven boys and five girls of Sugar Rush, all beneficiaries of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, recently won Danceworks 2015, an annual contest organised by the Central Narcotics Bureau.
Asked what it means to them to "be the light", 12-year-old member Dineaish Rajendran says: "It is to be a person who shines for others and puts a smile on everybody's face."