As though the demands of school were not enough, 11-year-old Bryan Ong is getting ready to perform on stage in front of a live audience and managing the stage fright that comes with it.
But he is confident of pulling it off when ChildAid 2018 takes place about a week from today.
"Even though there are some challenges, I've learnt the values of perseverance and how to be a good performer, so I am confident of putting up a good show," said the Nan Chiau Primary School pupil, who is taking part in the annual charity concert for the first time.
He is part of a group of six boys who will be singing I Want It That Way, a song by American boyband Backstreet Boys, at the concert at Resorts World Sentosa on Sunday and next Monday.
Themed "Jumpin' Jukebox Jive", this year's extravaganza will showcase the evolution of pop music from the 1960s to today.
With a week to go until the actual shows, ChildAid 2018's young performers are making their final preparations.
The cast held its first full-dress rehearsal yesterday at the Singapore Press Holdings Media Centre auditorium in Genting Lane.
They also practised on Sunday and Thursday last week.
The 143 performers, whose ages range from five to 19, sang tunes such as Rhythm Of The Rain by The Cascades from the 1960s, Spanish dance number Macarena from the 1990s, and Taylor Swift's 2014 hit Shake It Off.
Veteran singer-songwriter Dick Lee, reprising his role as creative director, said after yesterday's rehearsal that the performers are raring to go.
"Their energy and their talent... (are) driving this whole show. It's quite amazing to see. I just put the numbers together, then they take it away," he said. "This year, they are relating much more because it's a lot of music that they know, and which they've heard their parents play, so it's exhilarating to watch."
ChildAid, now in its 14th year, is the annual charity concert jointly organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times.
It raises funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which provides pocket money to schoolchildren from low-income families, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which helps fund arts training for underprivileged children and youth.
President Halimah Yacob will be guest of honour next Monday. Tickets start from $18 and are available at www.sistic.com.sg and Sistic outlets.
School of the Arts student Dawn Yap, 14, will be singing songs from the 1980s, including American pop star Madonna's Like A Prayer.
"It feels good to do what I'm passionate about and be able to contribute to a good cause at the same time," she said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2018, with the headline All fired up for ChildAid 2018. Subscribe