SINGAPORE - The 15th anniversary of ChildAid ended on a high on Thursday (Nov 21), with the announcement that this year's edition of the annual fund-raising concert raised $2.12 million.
This brings the total raised for charity over the concert's 15 years to $22.71 million.
Guest of honour President Halimah Yacob joined the 132 performers, as well as representatives from Singapore Press Holdings, sponsors and partners, during the cheque presentation on stage at the end of Thursday night's show.
Mr Warren Fernandez, editor in chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times, received four cheques.
The main sponsors were United Overseas Bank, which donated $1 million, and Citibank Singapore, which donated $652,000.
The other two cheques were from platinum sponsors MHC Asia Group ($100,000) and Singapore Plastic Industry Association ($138,000).
The funds raised will go towards The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), which provides pocket money to students from low-income families, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which helps fund arts training for underprivileged children and young people.
More than 1,600 audience members at Thursday's gala of ChildAid 2019 were treated to a diverse line-up of performances at the concert, themed Sing! Play! Dance!.
The performances ranged from classical cello pieces such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 performed by 11-year-old Michelle Zhu, to upbeat dance sets such as hip- hop dance-offs between two crews, Stylo Mylo and Danz People.
Husna Humairah Muhammad Hairie, 10, from Singapore Chinese Girls' School, who sang Jessie J's Domino with three other performers, said: "I used to perform in my school's shows but ChildAid is the biggest show for me."
Paying tribute to ChildAid's history and impact since it started in 2005 were multimedia clips of interviews with beneficiaries and past performers.
One of the clips featured a former STSPMF recipient, Mr Ronn Kay, now 29, who is living in Melbourne and working as a landscape architect.
Mr Kay, who faced financial difficulties while he was still in school, remembered receiving STSPMF assistance from 2002 to 2006, and getting $5 a day to buy food at recess time.
The clips also featured past performers sharing their memories of former ChildAid artistic director, the late musician Iskandar Ismail, who died in 2014.
He had had a hand in ChildAid since its second edition in 2006.
He was referred to as a father figure by Ms Amni Musfirah, 25, a local musician who was introduced to the arts scene by Mr Iskandar through ChildAid in 2008.
In the second item of Thursday's 110-minute show, all the performers - aged six to 19 - appeared on stage and also walked down the aisles singing the ChildAid theme song, A World To Imagine, which was composed by Mr Iskandar.
Among this year's performances was one by the show's creative director, singer-songwriter Dick Lee, singing Bunga Sayang (Malay for Flower Of Love) and Home solo, and Fried Rice Paradise with the young performers.
This was his first time performing at ChildAid, though he has been helming the show behind the scenes since 2017.
This year's concert, staged over two nights on Wednesday and Thursday, was held at the Esplanade Theatre.
The gold sponsors were China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) and Suntory Beverage & Food Asia, and Tote Board. Kiss92FM was the official radio station.
Produced by Dick Lee Asia, the concert's production partners were Cosmoprof and Unusual Productions.
The main venue partners were Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and The Pavilion.