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ChildAid A charity concert by The Straits Times and The Business Times

Singapore, 17 October 2005 - For the first-time ever, Singapore’s top young musicians will be putting on a concert in aid of their less-fortunate peers.

Called ChildAid, the two-night concert at the University Cultural Centre on Dec 7-8 is in aid of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. All the performers are under 19.

The Guest-of-Honour is President S R Nathan.

“The concert aims to showcase our young musical talents. It will give Singaporeans a chance to hear how good they are and to contribute to charity,” said Mr Peter Khoo, Vice President, Editorial Projects and Branding, Singapore Press Holdings. "Not many know that Singaporean youths are winning music awards in all genres all over the world. It’s time we celebrated them, and helped their needy peers too.’’

Organisers are also developing young talents in other fields through the concert. For instance, teenagers are being trained by Singapore Press Holdings to write all press releases for the concert. All the youths have volunteered their talents towards the charity event.

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund helps needy schoolchildren pay for a meal during recess or transport to school.
The Business Times Budding Artists Fund gives underprivileged children a chance to nurture their artistic talents, be it in the area of the arts or music.

The two newspapers hope to raise $300,000. The monies will be shared equally between the two beneficiaries.

Organisers have selected the first four performers. They are:

1. Abigail Sin
Hailed by Time Magazine as one of Asia’s "small wonders and a bona fide prodigy’’ when she was 10, the 13-year-old Methodist Girls School student has won three international piano competitions this year. She was voted the Most Outstanding Performer at the International Festival of Young Musicians in Lithuania, struck gold at the Virginia Waring International in California before winning the Ibiza International Piano Competition in Spain last month.

2. Loh Jun Hong
The 15-year-old violinist made headlines recently when he became the youngest Singaporean to be granted a place at the National University of Singapore. He had turned down a place at the renowned Yehudi Menuhin School in Britain to be the youngest musician at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, where he continues to be groomed by Qian Zhou.

3. 3Dash1
This band beat 207 others to win the inaugural Straits Times School of Rock competition this year. Comprising three teens from the polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education, they have gone from strength to strength, performing at the Esplanade, on National Day and at the Victoria Theatre. The band members are Muhd Ashik Sokhaimee, 18; Andhika, 17, and Mohammed Nashir Ayub, 19.

4. Nathan Hartono
This 15-year-old is the current Teen Idol. He won the Teenage Magazine event with his smooth jazz classics. Citing Frank Sinatra as his inspiration, Nathan will be launching his own CD soon.

The newspapers will be conducting a nationwide search for the other performers through their editorial stories from today (Tues, 18 Oct 2005).

Those who wish to audition must have made the news or won awards. They must be Singapore residents and not older than 19. Closing date for entries is Oct 31, 2005.

Those interested can contact Sheryl Lim at 62227 7087 or at sheryllim@musicmovement.com.sg

The opening gala night is for sponsors only. The charities are seeking Gold ($50,000 and above), Silver ($30,000) and Bronze ($10,000) sponsorships from corporations.

Sponsors can contact Shahrena Hassan at 6319-5097 or at shahrena@sph.com.sg

The second night is for the public. Ticket sales for the Dec 8 performance will start in early November and are available at all SISTIC outlets. Tickets will be priced at $25, $15 and $10.

All proceeds will go to charity with the Singapore Press Holdings bearing all costs.

This press release was written by teenagers Mark Lim, 16, Nur Safiah Alias, 15, and Rajesh Misir, 16. They are being trained to do PR as part of the ChildAid aim of showcasing and developing Singapore young talent.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Shahrena Hassan
Asst Manager
Editorial Promotions
Tel: 6319 5097
E-mail: shahrena@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and about 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 300 million pageviews a month. SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free newspaper Today. SPH operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company.