Physical concerts may be on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but you can catch the annual ChildAid fund-raising concert from the comfort of your home next month.
Organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, ChildAid2020 - Virtually Yours will feature a leading-edge 360-degree immersive video experience as well as 8D technology for a better audio experience.
The 16th edition of the concert will run for 45 minutes on July 15 and feature home-grown musicians including ChildAid alumnus Nathan Hartono, jazz maestro Jeremy Monteiro, orchestra conductor Wong Kah Chun as well as singer-songwriters Jasmine Sokko and Benjamin Kheng.
Wong, chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, will lead an ensemble of musicians and vocalists from Asia and Europe to present Beethoven's Ode To Joy in a show of global solidarity in the battle against Covid-19.
The show will also feature young artists like singers Heema Izzati Zainudin and Syah Riszuan, as well as international musicians such as saxophonist CC Lee from China, and drummer Krishna Kanhaiya and jazz pianist Joey Alexander, both from Indonesia.
Mr Jeremiah Choy, artistic director of ChildAid 2020, says the concert "explores how digital technology can be used so that audiences can experience a performance in a way they would not be able to in a normal theatre or concert hall".
The show aims to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), which helps about 10,000 disadvantaged students pay for their meals and transport, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BTBAF), which supports lessons in the performing and visual arts for 1,000 financially disadvantaged children who are artistically talented.
Both funds have been actively supporting families affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore.
UOB and Citi are the main sponsors again this year, but organisers welcome other corporate donations.
This year's concert marks two key milestones - The Straits Times' 175th anniversary and STSPMF's 20th anniversary.
Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media Group, hopes this year's ChildAid concert will galvanise the Singaporean community to donate to the two funds to help struggling families impacted by Covid-19.
Mr Fernandez, who is also editor of The Straits Times, says: "This is an unusual time and we are all having to learn to do things in interesting new ways. So, too, for this year's ChildAid, which goes virtual. It promises to bring together many talent for the much loved annual concert for our two charities, the BT Budding Artists Fund and the ST School Pocket Money Fund, the latter of which marks its 20th anniversary this year.
"The show will also be a special way to mark The Straits Times' 175th anniversary, the online video approach reflecting our efforts to transform ST from a print newsroom to a truly multimedia one.
"In a way, the manner in which everyone - the performers and crew, the organising team and our other stakeholders - adapted and showed great resilience in the face of the Covid-19 situation, speaks very well for the future of our efforts."
The concert hopes to rope in some 200 past ChildAid performers and others below 19 to join in a choir performance of the ChildAid theme song, A World To Imagine, composed by the late music maestro Iskandar Ismail.
Readers wishing to be a part of the choir in the video can apply at str.sg/childaidchoir by June 15.
The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.