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Young performers set to wow the audience at ChildAid

From martial arts to piano duets, ChildAid performers are set to wow

ChildAid began 13 years ago as a fund-raising showcase for children with musical talents.

It still helps thousands of children across the island, but when about 190 talents take the stage this week in this year's production, they will sing, dance, display martial arts skills and stage An Amazing, Awesome Asian Adventure.

In the hands of singer-songwriter and Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee as creative director, the 90-minute show follows the journey of four children who have their magical masks stolen by a witch and have to get them back.

The performance melds various performance mediums from different cultures to tell the story.

Proving that age is no object, the youngest performer, Megan Phuan, five, plays a piano duet with Jair Chan, who is just a year older.

Other performers gearing up for the concert on Friday and Saturday are Natalie Ong, 16, who was one of the finalists on The X Factor Australia last year, and Emiliano Cyrus, nine, and Neo Le Yang, 11, both of whom had parts in the 2017 edition of Forbidden City: Portrait Of An Empress, which was staged by the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

Jointly organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, the ChildAid concert provides disadvantaged schoolchildren with meals and transport fees through The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, as well as paves the way for them to pursue the performing arts, through The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

As the 13th edition of the annual ChildAid concert approaches, Gisele Chiam, nine, joined others to rehearse earlier this month. She is part of the cast of about 190 young performers involved in the event, which is organised by The Straits Times and
All ready to shine at ChildAid concert: As the 13th edition of the annual ChildAid concert approaches, Gisele Chiam, nine, joined others to rehearse earlier this month. She is part of the cast of about 190 young performers involved in the event, which is organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, and will be staged on Friday and Saturday. The event will raise money for disadvantaged children as part of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. The young performers will be singing, dancing and performing martial arts, among other things. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Dick Lee is the artistic director of this year's concert. The show, titled An Amazing, Awesome Asian Adventure, also marks the first time since ChildAid started in 2005 that the concert features a narrative linking the different acts. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO


From far left: Mikey Robinson, 12, and Bastien Buwalda, 12, clown around as Verlene Chew, 12, adjusts 12-year-old Natanya Tan’s hat, and Laura Maurer-Stroh, 10, waits in a room with other performers for a full-dress rehearsal to begin last Saturday. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


From left: Ms Kuo Po, vocal and acting trainer for this year’s ChildAid; Mr Dick Lee, ChildAid creative director; Mr Bryan Tan, assistant production manager; Ms Samantha Kan, choreographer for ChildAid; and Mr Benjamin Tan, assistant creative director, discussing a segment of the show during a rehearsal on Nov 5. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


From left: Gisele Chiam, nine, Emiliano Cyrus, nine, Lilo Baier, 11, and Neo Le Yang, 11, shooting in front of a green screen for a segment of the show at Vividthree Productions on Nov 6. The four lead roles will be backed by a cast of about 190 performers, aged five to 18, who will showcase various performing arts, as well as martial arts. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


Ananya Sarma (left), eight, is unable to hide her awe when she sees the breathtaking costume that nine-year-old Jyotsnaa Jayashanker is wearing. Costume designer Frederick Lee works on adjustments to the outfit. In this India-themed part in the show, the performers will be doing a song and dance to two songs – Mustapha and Umbrella. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


Assistant choreographer Alex Lim, 22, and choreographer Samantha Kan, 36, giving young performers Tisha Tang, 10, and Ryan Lee, 10, a helping hand during rehearsals for the Korea item at the Kids Performing Academy of the Arts, on Nov 4. The children will be dancing to two songs – Nobody and Not Today. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


ChildAid vocal and acting trainer Kuo Po at a rehearsal with Thecla Viyoshi, 10, and Filomena Litani (at right), eight. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


Annette Yeong, 10, Simran Sidhu, 11, Jyotsnaa Jayashanker, nine, and Andrei Rasmussen, 11, find inventive ways to amuse themselves during a break from rehearsals. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


Martial House Wushu Kids rehearsing for a Chinathemed segment of the show on Nov 5. Besides the young wushu performers from Martial House, other performing groups for this year’s ChildAid include Kids Performing, The DanceSport Academy and Jitterbugs Swingapore. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 


Children from the ChildAid choir group playing card games to pass the time during a rehearsal break. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 

The main sponsors of ChildAid 2017 - which donated $500,000 and above each - include Citi Singapore, HSBC and United Overseas Bank. The official venue partner is Resorts World Sentosa.

Cheow Sue-Ann

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2017, with the headline 'All for the kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe