Singapore, 5 March 2012 – Bigger, better and grander. This year's ChildAid, an annual children-for-children charity concert, is set to enthrall a bigger audience at the world-class Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre on Dec 7 and 8.
The show organisers - The Straits Times and The Business Times of the Singapore Press Holdings group - announced the concert venue at a tea reception at SPH News Centre on Monday (March 5) to thank the production teams and performers of last year's ChildAid, which raised a record $1.88 million for two children's charities.
The annual showcase of young musical talents benefits The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which provides financial assistance to needy school-going children, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BAF), which helps develop artistically gifted but less privileged kids.
Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, who is chairman of ChildAid 2012 Organising Committee, said Marina Bay Sands has agreed to come on board as a ChildAid venue partner for at least three years, from 2012.
Mr Tay, who is also chairman of the Budding Artists Fund, told the gathering at Monday's "thank you" reception: "ChildAid 2012 will be bigger and better. We are very excited with the new venue. It will be a rare opportunity for our artistically-gifted children to perform at a world-class theatre while helping to raise funds for two children-related charities."
Added Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times: "Each year this charity concert by the young and for the young gets bigger and better. The talents we have uncovered over the years have been just amazing."
“And the MBS Grand Theatre will be a big platform to showcase these budding talents."
Spread over three levels, the 2,155-seat Grand Theatre boasts state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, as well as the latest smart technology allowing a multitude of stage configurations and seamless set-change for all theatre performances.
Since it opened in November 2010, it has showcased several internationally acclaimed performances, including the riveting Riverdance, a celebration of Irish music, song and dance; an electrifying show featuring English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, and it is currently showing the Broadway hit musical Wicked, which runs till April 22.
Adjacent to the Grand Theatre is the 1,680-seat Sands Theatre where the award-winning Broadway musical The Lion King debuted in March last year.
On its partnership with ChildAid, Mr George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer for Marina Bay Sands, and Managing Director, Global Development, Las Vegas Sands Corp., said: “Marina Bay Sands is proud to have the opportunity to showcase such talented youth in our Grand Theatre. Our partnership with ChildAid is all the more meaningful as it provides disadvantaged youth with the resources they need to get ahead in life."
“Similarly, as part of our overall commitment to be socially responsible corporate citizens, we aim to help disadvantaged youth in their academic pursuits and launch their careers through our Youth Inspiration Internship Programme which has already had some success”.
Welcoming the new venue for ChildAid, Mr Han Fook Kwang, Chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund's Board of Trustees, and also Managing Editor of the SPH's English and Malay Newspapers Division, said: "We're very excited about holding ChildAid at MBS and we're determined to put up a show to match."
“Every year we showcase some of the most talented young performers and we look forward to finding even more this year.”
Since its first concert in 2005, ChildAid, which ended its seventh successful run at the University Cultural Centre last December, has raised $5.86 million for the two funds.
Held annually, with artistic director Iskandar Ismail, a Cultural Medallion recipient, helming the creative reins of ChildAid since 2006, ChildAid showcases the best of Singapore's young talents below the age of 19, from classical to jazz. These youths have earned top accolades; they are either forerunners in their field of performance or have won national competitions.
Past ChildAid performers and groups included Abigail Sin, who at a tender age was named one of Asia's rising prodigies by TIME magazine; Janani Sridar, a first prize winner in the 58th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfd; Jazz singer Nathan Hartono, winner of Teenage Idol singing competition; and drummer Ethan Ong, who has won many national and international awards.
In ChildAid 2011, some 130 performers presented 17 items across different genres, including two pre-concert performances. It uncovered several promising fresh young talent such as pianist Kennis Ang, 10, vocalist Sophia Syabil Joe, 12, and violinist Wu Shuang, 10. An added sensation was Japanese violinist Asami Wada, 13, who flew in from Tokyo to perform at the three-evening concert, with an extra show put up to allow more members of the public, as well as social workers and the beneficiaries of the two funds and their families, to catch it.
Calls for entries to perform in this year's concert will be announced soon. Look out for details in The Straits Times and The Business Times.
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For more information, please contact:
Ms Shahrena Hassan
Editorial Projects Unit
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5097
Mr Yeo Siew Chi
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1586
Mr Damien Sim
Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd
DID: 6688 5019
About The Straits Times
The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore.
Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond.
The Straits Times' key strength is in its world-class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective.
In keeping with the times, The Straits Times introduced weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. In 2010, IN won the World Young Reader prize for the Newspapers In Education category. The prize was awarded by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).
The Straits Times is also available online at www.straitstimes.com, iPads and iPhones through the enhanced ST app and via the Android smartphone app. The comprehensive website provides a free breaking news section, with real-time news updates, and the ST Online Premium edition, which gives subscribers interactive access to ST’s comprehensive news coverage – including commentaries, analyses, blogs, and videos from its multimedia news portal RazorTV – on the go. Users can access a seven-day archive of past editions.
At Wan-Ifra's Digital Media Awards 2011, ST won Gold awards for Best Newspaper website and Mobile Publishing (iPhone). In addition, two bronze awards were given to ST's social media website Stomp and for Cross Media Advertising on the iPad.
About The Business Times
The Business Times (BT), published by Singapore Press Holdings, is South-east Asia's leading business daily. It is Singapore’s only financial daily and provides a complete guide on the local, regional and international business scene.
BT brings to its readers each day a comprehensive and concise package of corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary. BT also carries features and the latest lifestyle trends in food, entertainment, shopping, arts, health, travel and design.
In June 1995, BT became the first English-language newspaper in Asia to go on the World Wide Web. Since January 2000, BT Online started to be available from 4am Singapore time (GMT +8 hrs) and to offer news updates throughout the day, from Mondays to Sundays. In October 2011, it launched its BT Weekend iPad app that comes with a PDF format of the BT Weekend print edition.
Redesigned in September 2004 to engage a new generation of readers, a refreshing blue masthead, bigger fonts and friendlier layout were introduced. The content has been expanded to reflect a complete read, packing in loads of new features, such as specialty pages, a daily take on the health of the Singapore economy and dedicated regional pages.
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. It publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. On an average day, – 2.92 million individuals or 74 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy.sg, ST701, Stomp and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into book publishing, broadcasting, out-of-home advertising and properties.
About Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd
Marina Bay Sands is the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It features large and flexible convention and exhibition facilities, 2,560 hotel rooms and suites, the rooftop Sands SkyPark, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants and an outdoor event plaza. Its two theaters showcase a range of leading entertainment performances including world-renowned Broadway shows. Completing the line-up of attractions is the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands which plays host to permanent and marquee exhibitions.