Nostalgic melodies at charity show

Actress Rebecca Lim (above) and home-grown musical group The Teng Ensemble (left).
Actress Rebecca Lim and home-grown musical group The Teng Ensemble (above).PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE, MEDIACORP
Actress Rebecca Lim (above) and home-grown musical group The Teng Ensemble (left).
Actress Rebecca Lim (above) and home-grown musical group The Teng Ensemble.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE, MEDIACORP

A segment in the President's Star Charity show sees actress Rebecca Lim and The Teng Ensemble play music often heard in the 1970s and 1980s

Home-grown TV star Rebecca Lim is known for her acting chops, but she will be showcasing another talent at next month's President's Star Charity show - playing the piano.

In a one-off collaboration with acclaimed local musical group The Teng Ensemble, she will be playing a medley of songs that are sure to jog listeners' memories.

Titled Childhood, the segment will showcase recognisable melodies from the 1970s and 1980s - tunes which were often used as musical accompaniment for children's rides at amusement parks. These include Mandarin songs San Lun Che (Trishaw) and Ni Wawa (Mud Baby), and Malay songs Ikan Kekek and Burung Kakak Tua.

Lim, 31, told The Straits Times at a press conference yesterday that the performance bears special meaning for her. "A lot of childhood memories flow back when I'm practising this because these are songs sung by my late grandmother when I was little," said the actress, who started learning to play the piano when she was six.

She is also excited about getting to work with The Teng Ensemble, a group known for its unique brand of what it calls East-West music. Members of the group blend Eastern and Western musical sounds through instruments such as pipa (Chinese string instrument), sheng (Chinese mouth organ), guitar and cello.

She said: "We had a couple of practice sessions together and they are so good at what they do. The Teng Ensemble doesn't play with much technology, it just lets its music and talent speak for itself."

This performance is one of many in the line-up at the President's Star Charity, an annual show broadcast live on television that aims to raise funds for various beneficiaries through artistic performances.

Other acts that audiences can look out for include home-grown TV host Kym Ng playing the harp alongside harp recitalist and 2005 Young Artist Award recipient Katryna Tan, as well as a volunteer from welfare organisation Concern & Care Society, among others.

Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Powter will perform his chart-topping pop song Bad Day, for which he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2007.

The show's opening and closing will be helmed by veteran singer Rahimah Rahim. She will collaborate with Orkestra Melayu Singapura on the song Joget Pahang for the opener, and will end the show with a rendition of What The World Needs Now Is Love.

This year, proceeds from the show will go to 52 beneficiaries, including Autism Association (Singapore) and the Singapore Disability Sports Council.

Next month's show will be the first President's Star Charity (PSC) show that President Halimah Yacob will grace as guest of honour.

In a press statement sent yesterday, she was quoted as saying: "The PSC is a valuable fund-raising platform to help the less fortunate in society. Over the years, it has inspired and rallied Singaporeans from all walks of life to come together to help others in need. I am heartened by the strong support and generosity of Singaporeans, and hope the spirit of giving continues in the years to come.

"Every member has a part to play in helping the community and, together, we can build a more caring and inclusive society."

•Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

•The President's Star Charity 2017 Live airs on Channel 5 and Toggle on Dec 10 at 7.30pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2017, with the headline 'Nostalgic melodies at charity show'. Print Edition | Subscribe