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10 highlights of ChildAid 2020 tonight

The free e-concert by BT and ST tonight offers a 360-degree immersive viewing experience and a galaxy of stars

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Jasmine Sokko sings her original song MESS against an intergalactic backdrop of shooting stars and supernovas. Put on your VR goggles to experience drifting in space with her.

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Benjamin Kheng sings Make Do, a track from his latest album, against a lush backdrop of cityscapes at night. The song is about "making do" with what one already has to make love and life work - an apt message for our times.

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Multi-hyphenate Heema Izzati Zainudin sings, dances and plays the cello and keyboard in her number, which will feature five versions of her. She is performing a mash-up of classical composition Czardas by Monti and pop song Myself by Bazzi.

Singapore

THE virtual charity concert ChildAid 2020 debuts tonight on the various digital platforms of The Business Times and The Straits Times. Pop stars, jazz maestros, child performers and world-renowned classical musicians are joining forces to bring you a terrific hour of music entertainment, organised by the two newspapers.

The concert raises funds for The Business Times Budding Artists Fund and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which have assisted over 170,000 children over the years. The concert is sponsored by UOB, UBS, Citi Singapore and Richard Mille, among others.

Here are the 10 things to look out for in the concert tonight.

1. Cutting-edge technology

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This marks the first time a full Singapore concert is presented in immersive 360-degree video format and Ambisonics surround sound. While the concert can be viewed on desktops and laptops, it's better to watch it on a smartphone or tablet, and with a pair of headphones or earphones. You can move your device left or right, up or down, or all around, to enjoy the concert in every direction. For an even more immersive experience, use VR goggles.

2. Nathan Hartono's duet

In our first ChildAid concert in 2005, Nathan Hartono took to the stage as a 13-year-old teenager with an impressive set of pipes. Fifteen years later, he is a bona fide pop star with millions of fans across the region. He returns to the ChildAid stage with songbird Abby Simone, as they deliver a note-perfect rendition of Russian Roulette, an original song written by local band MMLD.

3. Multi-hyphenate teenager

She sings. She composes. And she plays multiple instruments. Another alumna of ChildAid, 13-year-old Heema Izzati Zainudin is performing amash-up of classical composition Czardas by Monti and pop song Myself by Bazzi. And since she's putting together all the music by herself, it's only right that you see five versions of her on your screen.

4. Jeremy Monteiro's tag team

Singapore's most beloved blues brother Jeremy Monteiro collaborates with no fewer than five young talents for two numbers. In the first one, he's invited Joey Alexander - a 16-year-old pianist with three Grammy nominations to his name - to play the classic song, Down By The Riverside. For the second number, Mount Olive, which he wrote and arranged, he jams with rising stars CC Lee, John Koh, Krishna Kanhaiya and Lee Ann Gie.

5. O School style

Can there be dancing in this pandemic? The young dancers of dance school O School prove there indeed can be. Twenty of them, aged between 17 and 20, switched on their Zoom cameras and synchronised their moves to Derek Gust's dance number Burdens and The Hunts' Heaven Knows and Peace Be Still, choreographed by Ahmad Kamil.

6. Benjamin Kheng's latest

Pop star, influencer and all-round nice guy Benjamin Kheng recently released his debut solo 6-track EP to strong reviews. He's performing one of the songs against a lush backdrop of cityscapes at night. The song, titled Make Do, is about "making do" with what one already has to make love and life work - an apt message for our times.

7. Band of brothers

Honey-voiced Syah Riszuan, 15, has performed thrice in ChildAid, each time belting out some of the hardest songs in pop's canon, including Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love Of All. He's performing an original song for the first time titled I Hope, a catchy reggae-infused number composed by his brother Mohd Shahfiq, with cello accompaniment by Alyssa Tan.

8. Jasmine Sokko in space

There are few Singapore artists more exciting right now than Jasmine Sokko, a pop princess with a gift for penning infectious tunes. Her performance here doesn't disappoint. She sings her original song MESS against an intergalactic backdrop of shooting stars and supernovas. Put on your VR goggles to experience drifting in space with her.

9. All grown up

Some of the best singers from the past 15 editions of ChildAid reunite to form the virtual choir for ChildAid's theme song, A World To Imagine. Once child singers, some have grown to become accomplished professional musicians. The song is arranged by producer George Leong and conductor Darius Lim.

10. Classical finale

Maestro Kahchun Wong, chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony, has assembled over 1,000 musicians from 25 countries to perform Beethoven's Ode To Joy, marking the composer's 250th birth anniversary. The instrumentalists and singers include many of the best in the world, from Chicago to China.

  • ChildAid 2020 premieres on July 15 at 8pm on The Business Times and The Straits Times websites, as well as their respective YouTube and Facebook channels. Go to bt.sg/ca2020

How to donate

THE concert raises funds for two charities, The Business Times Budding Artists Fund and The Straits School Pocket Money Fund, which assist children from low-income homes.

We welcome donations through:

(1) Via Giving.sg. Go to str.sg/donatetochildaid
(2) Via Singtel Dash. Go to str.sg/childaid2020 for details
(3) By PayNow (UEN Number: 201408699H, enter CA20 and NRIC and contact numbers in the reference field)
(4) By cheque, made payable to "ChildAid", indicating name, NRIC number and address at the back of the cheque. The cheque can be mailed to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, 1000 Toa Payoh North, Singapore 318994.

We thank you for your support.

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