ChildAid turns 15

Performers singing Bring It All Back by S Club 7 at last year's ChildAid concert, which raised more than $2 million for ST's School Pocket Money Fund and BT's Budding Artists Fund.
Performers singing Bring It All Back by S Club 7 at last year's ChildAid concert, which raised more than $2 million for ST's School Pocket Money Fund and BT's Budding Artists Fund.PHOTO: ST FILE

The annual charity concert, with Dick Lee as creative director, will take place at Esplanade Theatre in November

Entertainment veteran Dick Lee will reprise his role as the creative director of ChildAid, the annual charity concert co-organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times.

The concert, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, will take place at Esplanade Theatre on Nov 20 and 21.

Anchored by the theme "Sing! Play! Dance!", the show will involve up to 100 participants between the ages of six and 19.

Lee, who is creative director for the third year running, says the concert will play to each of the children's unique strengths.

The Cultural Medallion recipient adds: "I'm especially proud to be directing ChildAid this year, as it is the 15th anniversary and an important celebration of the cause as well as the many kids that have been part of it.

"The focus this year will be to showcase our young performers' individual talents and also to shine a spotlight on their personal lives and also the beneficiaries of the charity."

ChildAid raises funds for both ST's School Pocket Money Fund - which provides pocket money to students from low-income families - and BT's Budding Artists Fund - which supports arts education for children and young people from underprivileged families.

The Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez says: "ChildAid is a big part of our efforts to raise the funds we need, and the most wonderful part of it is that we have youth performing to help other youth who need their help.

"As Child Aid has been doing for 15 years now, we hope to once again spot and showcase talented young Singaporeans with something special to share with the audience."

Last year's concert, which had a "The Jumping Jukebox Jive" theme showcasing the evolution of pop music, raised $2,057,237 for both funds.

Past ChildAid performers have gone on to be part of prominent projects. Five of them sang in this year's National Day Parade theme song and music video, Our Singapore.

Singer-actor Nathan Hartono, 27, best known as the runner-up in Chinese reality singing show Sing! China in 2016, got his big break in the 2005 edition of ChildAid as a teenager.

Those keen to try out this year can send a video clip of themselves performing to childaid@dickleeasia.com by June 7.

The MP4 video must not exceed 90 seconds and its size must be less than 15MB. Participants must send a link for larger videos. It should include the performer's name, age, school, phone number and e-mail address, as well as a short write-up on the reasons for wanting to perform in the concert. Only those shortlisted will be invited for an audition on June 22 and 23.

Those selected will take part in rehearsals and workshops from August to November.

The main sponsors of the event are United Overseas Bank and Citibank.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2019, with the headline 'ChildAid turns 15'. Print Edition | Subscribe