ChildAid 2017 stars perform on the international stage

ChildAid star Lilo Baier, 11,  performed in New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall on Dec 16.
ChildAid star Lilo Baier, 11, performed in New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall on Dec 16.PHOTO: NICOLE BAIER

SINGAPORE - ChildAid stars took centre stage in November, singing and dancing in the charity concert. Now, a few of the young talents are taking centre stage internationally. They include Lilo Baier, 11, and Emiliano Cyrus, nine, both of whom played lead roles in the two-day concert. 

Lilo performed in New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall on Dec 16, singing to a sold-out audience How Far I'll Go, the theme song of Disney's film Moana.

She told The Straits Times: "I've always dreamed of performing in Carnegie Hall. I was like, wow, this is surreal."

ChildAid is jointly organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, and helps disadvantaged schoolchildren from The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, and performing arts pursue their work, through The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

Lilo got to perform at Carnegie Hall after winning the No. 1 spot in The American Protege International Vocal Competition in the Solo Broadway/Musical Theatre/Jazz category earlier this year.

Her father, Mr Wolfgang Baier, 43, group chief executive of beauty products distributor Luxasia, said: "I realised the magnitude of Carnegie Hall only after some business meetings in the city. People were shocked to hear the reason I was in New York."

Added her mother Nicole Baier, also 43, a housewife: "It was magical, we were so proud."

Lilo's brother Luca, nine, and sister Luna, five, as well as Lilo's performing arts teacher Kuo Po, were also in New York to cheer her on.

Said Ms Kuo: "After ChildAid, Lilo's confidence level rose as it proved to her she could act, sing and dance. Her dream is to be a performer."

Added Singapore-born Lilo: "I was so nervous at first, but once I got on stage, I felt like I could do this for the rest of my life."

On Christmas Eve, she sang in a Christmas show at Hotel Albona Nova in Austria, where her parents are from.

For Emiliano, the journey has been breathless.

Four days after the ChildAid concert ended on Nov 25, he was whisked off to China to perform in Beijing.

He did a duet with Bonnie Chyl, singing Teresa Teng's well-known hit, The Moon Represents My Heart, at a charity concert. The concert, called China And The World: Saving Children And Mothers, was organised by the United Nations Every Woman Every Child China Partnership Network and the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development.

Emiliano took part in 21 shows in the United States in December, mainly dancing, acting, singing and modelling for Disney Channel in Disneyland Orlando, said his mother Gracemaple Kwok, 46, and executive director of GT Robot Technology.

Emiliano, a Portuguese, told The Straits Times: "It has been an emotional journey and I feel excited about my achievements in 2017. I would love to perform more for charity and help contribute to society."

An early ChildAid star who has gone on to a bigger stage is Mr Nathan Hartono, 26, who performed in the 2005 concert. He came in second in the highly competitive contest Sing! China.