120 performers gather for ChildAid meet and greet

10 September 2019

(From left) Rey Phua, Gisele Chiam, Steven Simopoulos and Sri Qaseh Nuraisyah Abdullah are the emcees for this year's ChildAid. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN


Some 120 performers of this year's ChildAid, an annual charity concert, gathered for the first time yesterday as part of a meet-and-greet and first rehearsal session.

Dancers, singers, classical musicians and emcees aged six to 19 had a preview of their show programme at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC).

Among them were 13 recipients of The Business Times' Budding Artists Fund, which supports arts education for children from underprivileged families.

Shermaine Ng, 15, part of a dance crew named Stylo Mylo, says the fund allowed her to further her dance pursuits at Little Arts Academy: "It gave me a chance to participate in competitions and large-scale performances. It's an experience for me."

Vivien Tan, 14, another dancer and recipient of the fund, says: "I'm a bit stressed about ChildAid because it's such a big performance. But it's a good kind of stress."

The fund also gave Rey Phua, 11, and Sri Qaseh Nuraisyah Abdullah, 12, a chance to shine onstage. Both are first-time emcees of ChildAid alongside Gisele Chiam, 10, and Australian Steven Simopoulos, 12.

"I'm quite nervous, but I trust my emcee mates because we have great vibes and good chemistry and I think we can do it," says Qaseh.


Rey, who has acting experience and knows how to play the piano and guitar, adds: "Being an emcee is something new for me. It's not like acting, it's live and there are no redos. I like trying different performance genres."

To be held on Nov 20 and 21 at Esplanade Theatre, the ChildAid concert is themed Sing! Play! Dance! and will showcase a multitude of talents from children in Singapore.

The concert is organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, both publications under Singapore Press Holdings. It is produced by Dick Lee Asia for the third year running.

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

This year marks the 15th year of ChildAid, which has raised $18 million for students in need over the years. Some 175,000 children and youth have benefited from the funds.

The main sponsors of the event this year are United Overseas Bank and Citibank.

The SCCC has contributed its spaces for rehearsals for free during the concert preparation period. The centre, founded in 2017, collaborates with arts and cultural groups and community partners to promote and develop local Chinese culture.

Says Mr Lee Ee Wurn, director of programmes at the centre: "Happy 15th anniversary to ChildAid, the SCCC is honoured to be a venue partner of ChildAid 2019, as one of our objectives is to discover local young talents. We look forward to featuring them in our future programmes."


The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.



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