Over 50 young talents audition for ChildAid concert

Vivien Tan Siu Wen (left) performing a free-style dance at yesterday's audition for ChildAid, while Kiera Kwek (above) sang and danced. The charity concert, in its 15th year, will take place on Nov 20 and 21. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TI
Vivien Tan Siu Wen (above) performing a free-style dance at yesterday's audition for ChildAid, while Kiera Kwek sang and danced. The charity concert, in its 15th year, will take place on Nov 20 and 21. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Vivien Tan Siu Wen (left) performing a free-style dance at yesterday's audition for ChildAid, while Kiera Kwek (above) sang and danced. The charity concert, in its 15th year, will take place on Nov 20 and 21. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TI
Vivien Tan Siu Wen performing a free-style dance at yesterday's audition for ChildAid, while Kiera Kwek (above) sang and danced. The charity concert, in its 15th year, will take place on Nov 20 and 21. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Solo performers and groups try out for Nov show; last audition on Saturday

More than 50 performers aged between six and 19 auditioned yesterday for a spot in this year's ChildAid, an annual charity concert co-organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, which will be held later this year.

More than half put on dance acts in the first of two auditions.

ChildAid's chief choreographer Samantha Kan, who was involved in last year's concert, said: "I was impressed with the mix of kids who obviously trained very hard, and those who have not been training as hard but have so much fire and heart to dance and perform."

Sugar Rush Crew, a three-member group from dance non-profit 10 Square Youth, was among those who auditioned. The group last performed in ChildAid in 2015.

"We hope to perform again this year to show how we have improved our skills and become more diverse," said 15-year-old Shah Zamani from Geylang Methodist School (Secondary).

Hip-hop dance group Stylo Mylo Crew from The Little Arts Academy is hoping to make its first appearance at the concert.

The group consists of nine members aged between 11 and 15.

Group leader Bazil Khalaf, 13, from Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School, said: "Even though we knew each other before this, we grew closer as friends only this year, so we hope we can perform on stage together."

There were many solo performers too. Careezza Cheah, a 13-year-old from St Margaret's Secondary School, performed a solo contemporary acrobatic dance routine that involved handstands, cartwheels and backbends.

It was her first time auditioning for ChildAid.

She started learning ballet at four years old but switched to acrobatic dance when she was 10, and hopes to join the circus as a hand balancer when she is older.

The audition yesterday took place at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre at 1 Straits Boulevard. The centre, which opened in 2017, works with arts and cultural groups to support and strengthen local Chinese culture.

The second and final audition will be held on Saturday.

Selected performers will be notified next month.

The concert, which is in its 15th year, is produced by Dick Lee Asia. It will take place at the Esplanade Theatre on Nov 20 and 21, with the theme "Sing! Play! Dance!".

Singer-songwriter and Cultural Medallion winner Dick Lee returns as the creative director for the third year running.

ChildAid raises funds for both The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund - which provides recess and transport money to students from low-income families - and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which supports arts education for children from underprivileged families.

Last year's ChildAid concert, titled Jumpin' Jukebox Jive, raised more than $2 million.

The main sponsors for this year's event are United Overseas Bank and Citibank.

Chief vocal trainer John Lee said a fusion of classical meets modern performances may well be on the cards for this year's show.

"We are putting our feelers out to the classical singers as there is such a big classical world out there," he said.

"We look forward to fusing classical and modern together for a fresh touch."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2019, with the headline 'Over 50 young talents audition for ChildAid concert'. Print Edition | Subscribe