Taking the stage for a chance to join ChildAid

AN ACAPELLA crew and a 12-year-old singing emcee - these were just some of the hopefuls who auditioned yesterday for a place in ChildAid 2013.

This year, almost 400 have signed up for a chance to perform in the charity concert, which raises funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

ITE That Acapella Group, a group of teenage vocalists from the Institute of Technical Education's Centre for Music and the Arts (CeMTA), hoped to get the chance to use their talents to give back to society.

CeMTA's head of arts management Christabel Lim, who manages the group, said: "I chose to push my singers for this opportunity after our ITE Show Choir took part in ChildAid 2012. I saw a vast improvement in their confidence and discipline. Some of our students are also beneficiaries of the Pocket Money Fund, so it'd be good for us to give back."

Age was no barrier at the auditions which were held at the Singapore Press Holdings' News Centre in Toa Payoh.

Natasha Anne Vokes, 12, was one of the younger talents who turned up. Despite a slight cold, she auditioned for the chance to be a host and a singer at the event. She said: "I think it's nice to be able to do something I like while helping others."

Last year's ChildAid, which featured 210 performers, raised a record-breaking $2.08 million.

Show director Jeremiah Choy is confident that the amount will be matched in this year's event. "The quality of the performances is comparable to previous years'. We have been very impressed by the youth thus far," he said.

Auditions will also be held today and next Saturday to determine the ChildAid 2013 line-up.