143 performers to take to the stage in ChildAid concert this year

Beatboxer Brisel Choo, 14, and singers Ashley New, 16, (left) and Melissa Hecker, 13, will be performing in this year’s ChildAid concert in November. Brisel and Ashley are newcomers to the concert, while this will be Melissa’s third ChildAid conc
Beatboxer Brisel Choo, 14, and singers Ashley New, 16, (left) and Melissa Hecker, 13, will be performing in this year’s ChildAid concert in November. Brisel and Ashley are newcomers to the concert, while this will be Melissa’s third ChildAid concert this year.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - Student Ashley New, 16, took time off to audition and prepare for this year's ChildAid concert despite being busy preparing for her O-level examination.

The aspiring singer saw the concert as an opportunity to showcase her talent as well as help with a charitable cause.

The annual charity concert is co-organised by The Straits Times (ST) and The Business Times (BT), and raises funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund - the former provides pocket money to schoolchildren from low-income families and the latter helps fund arts training for underprivileged children and youth.

"I think the cause is really important and it would be my first large scale performance so I think this would be a really good opportunity for me," said Ashley.

The Methodist Girls' School student is one of about 143 performers for this year's ChildAid concert, which will be held on Nov 25 and 26 at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). The mix of new and repeat performers met on Monday (Sept 3) at a ChildAid briefing at RWS.

This year's concert will centre on the evolution of pop music, and performers will sing, dance or play their instruments to more than 35 pop songs from the past six decades. The song selection ranges from hits from the 60s, such as Fun Fun Fun by The Beach Boys', to more recent chart-toppers, including Pharrell Williams's Happy, which was released in 2013.

Dancing and singing workshops for the performers will be held on Tuesday (Sept 4) and the day after. Rehearsals will start from Nov 3 onwards.

Veteran singer-songwriter Dick Lee has reprised his role as creative director for this year's concert, which is now in its 14th edition. He said he was glad for the rare opportunity to work on a music show with children.

"The auditions were great there were some really amazing young talents...I think we chose the right songs for the right kids and I can't wait to see how they interpret them," said Mr Lee.

A repeat performer is Melissa Hecker, 13, a Year One student at the School of the Arts. This will be her third appearance in a ChildAid concert.

"A lot of my friends are returning, and I can meet new people too; it's all for a great cause, and at the end of the day it's just really fun to perform," said Melissa.