Sota students and muscular dystrophy patients celebrate their friendship in Sunburst Virtual Concert

A dance performance by Hanna Qistina Binti Hairil Rizal (left) and Caitlynn Pang An Qi (right). PHOTO: SUNBURST 2021

SINGAPORE - The friendship forged between students of the School of the Arts (Sota) and members of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Singapore (MDAS) is serving as the backdrop for an annual concert.

Over the last five years, the two groups have come together to perform and raise money for MDAS and the Sota Endowment Fund.

The theme for the concert this year is #goodvibes, a celebration of the lives touched by Sunburst Virtual Concert 2021: The Business Times - CapitaLand Fundraising Show.

The annual fund-raising show, organised by The Business Times (BT) and sponsored by CapitaLand, aims to raise $230,000 this year.

BT editor Wong Wei Kong said: "Young people need encouragement and to know that they can depend on friends and family for emotional support, for someone to come alongside and say they are journeying with them.

"Sunburst celebrates the gift of good friendships and how those bonds are a source of joy and strength."

Aired as a three-part webisode series on Sota's YouTube channel every Friday at 8pm, the concert featured seven MDAS members and a Sota alumnus performing a heart-warming theme song, Step Into The Future.

It was composed by Evan Joel De Silva, a Sota Year 3 music student, with lyrics by Year 3 literary arts students - Genato Sofia Gabrielle Gonzales and Lauren Chen Qian Hui.

(From left) Sota students Sofia Genato, Evan Joel De Silva and Lauren Chen. PHOTO: SUNBURST 2021

The first webisode was aired on Oct 15. Viewers may catch the second episode on Oct 22 and the finale on Oct 29.

Due to the Covid-19 safe management measures, the event was held virtually for the second consecutive year.

Remote video URL

Theatre practitioner Jeremiah Choy, who is the creative director of Sunburst 2021, said he was inspired by relationships formed over the last four iterations of Sunburst.

He added: "I am looking to discover how we can Step Into The Future together, as the theme song goes. Not just the performers, but all who are part of it - the organisers, the sponsors, the supporters and the volunteers as well."

Inspired by the idea of forging new friendships, Sota's Year 4 visual arts student Natasha Ng and MDAS member Muhammad Saifudeen collaborated virtually via Zoom and created the Sunburst 2021 artwork.

(From left) MDAS members Maria Sophia T. Gutierrez, Lim Kay Choong and Muhammad Saifudeen Bin Abdul Salim. PHOTO: SUNBURST 2021

The artwork will be unveiled in the final webisode on Oct 29.

Natasha said: "#goodvibes to me, means experiences that are high energy and fun. It encompasses the feelings of excitement and enjoyment of having a good time with others.

"Or even experiencing moments of spontaneity and fun with friends."

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