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Bright new talents emerge at ChildAid 2018 audition

Synchronix Youth Show Choir at the audition. The judges expressed surprise and delight in discovering new talents who delivered remarkably polished performances.


ON Sunday, more than 100 children - some as young as four-and-half - came to Singapore Press Holdings' News Centre to audition for one of the biggest talent shows of the year, ChildAid.

The 14th annual musical event organised by The Business Times and The Straits Times showcases young musical talents under 19 years of age in a bid to raise money for two charities, BT Budding Artists Fund and ST School Pocket Money Fund.

BT Budding Artists Fund provides arts training for financially disadvantaged children, while ST School Pocket Money Fund helps such children pay for transport to school and meals during recess. The main sponsors of the event include United Overseas Bank, Citibank, Porsche, and Suntory Beverage and Food Asia.

Helmed by famous musician Dick Lee, this year's concert is titled Jumping Jukebox Jive and will look at the evolution of popular music from the 1960s to the present era. It will be held at Resorts World Sentosa, the venue sponsor, on Nov 25 and 26.

At the audition, the judges expressed surprise and delight in discovering new talents who delivered remarkably polished performances, despite having never or rarely performed on stage before. ChildAid's music director, Indra Ismail, said: "I'm impressed. I think we have some really strong vocalists this year."

Beatboxer Brisel Choo mimicked drum and bass beats to delirious effect. Singer Heema Izzati Zainudin astonished the judges with her powerful vocals despite being only 11. And being 11 was also no obstacle to Alan Fong who ambitiously took on Whitney Houston's hard-to-sing I Will Always Love You - and aced every high note.

Vocal trainer John Lee, brother to Dick, said: "I don't know where these kids pick it up from, but there was a lot of grounding in their technique - even among the younger ones. It could be that they're learning by watching videos on sites such as YouTube. Some of them chose old songs such as Sound Of Silence and Hallelujah and styled them to make them sound contemporary. Amazing!"

As an indication of the ChildAid's success with its participants, more than a third of those auditioning had appeared in previous editions of ChildAid, now in its 14th year.

Theclas Viyoshi and Filomena Litani, both 11, were among those hoping to return after an exhilarating journey last year. They said: "We learnt so much about vocal harmonising and choreography, stuff we didn't learn anywhere else . . . We also made many friends last year, and we want to make more this year."

  • ChildAid 2018 will run at Resorts World Sentosa on Nov 25 and 26. Tickets will go on sale approximately a month before the concert.