Stars come in all shapes and sizes as charity concert ChildAid last Friday and Saturday proved.
From 1m-tall dancer Natalie Mae Tan, six, to 1.97m-tall guitarist Alexander Wong, 23, whether as individual or group acts, the performers gave their all. Over three shows at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, loud applause, cheers and the occasional wave of star-shaped torches placed on the seats for the audience affirmed their talent and efforts.
This year's 10th anniversary All-Stars Edition featured notable alumni along with fresh faces in an eclectic programme of music and dance that included infectious pop numbers, lush classical pieces and Disney tunes.
Working up the crowd were items such as the show's female pop vocalists' mash-up of Duffy's Mercy and Pharrell William's Happy, and the ITE Show Choir's take on songs from 1980s movies, including What A Feeling from Flashdance (1983), Time Of My Life from Dirty Dancing (1987) and Fame from the 1980 movie of the same name.
Another crowd favourite was the drumming segment of Cantaloupe Island and Samba de Janeiro by former ChildAid performers Davy Tan, 13; Aaron James Lee, 19; Alysson Lam, 15; Ethan Ong, 15; and Zidann Zalizan, 14.
As the spotlight moved from drummer to drummer during the solo parts - including a rap by Lee - screams could be heard from the audience.
Zidann said after the final show: "It's good to be back. It's a reunion. It's the best reunion."
In a standout solo, soprano Janani Sridhar, 24, kept the audience rapt with O Mio Babbino Caro from the Italian opera Gianni Schicchi by Puccini. She cut a dramatic figure in her black dress, standing under beams of light.
Following her act was pianist Abigail Sin, 22; violinist Gabriel Ng, 20; and the Orchestra of the Music Makers playing film composer Franz Waxman's Tristan And Isolde Fantasia.
The concert's pint-sized performers also packed a punch. Eight girl vocalists, aged seven to 12, had the young and young- at-heart in the audience singing along to familiar favourites from shows such as Disney's Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992) and Mulan (1998). Capping off their item and sending a ripple of excitement through the crowd was the hit Let It Go from Frozen (2013).
The little dancers from Danzation of the Little Arts Academy and Jitterbugs Swingapore showed off their nifty moves at various points in the show.
Ms Celine Lew, 37, an engineer who attended the opening night with her husband, mother-in-law and three children, was impressed by the show's performers. She said: "Singapore has talents we can watch, not just those on foreign TV programmes."
Her eldest child Cerise Lim, six, said: "I like the dancing. It's fun."
Amid the celebratory mood, ChildAid also paid tribute to its long-time artistic director, the late Iskandar Ismail, who died last month.
As classical guitarist Kevin Loh, 16, plucked the strings to Cavatina by Stanley Myers, images of Iskandar from childhood to more recent years played on screen.
The show ended with vocalists singing Abba's Thank You For The Music - a hat tip to Iskandar - and the entire cast performing the ChildAid theme song A World To Imagine, which he composed with lyrics by Paul Tan.
The concert, co-organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, with Marina Bay Sands as the official venue partner, raised a record $2.327 million. Proceeds from the show go to the ST School Pocket Money Fund and the BT Budding Artists Fund.
This article was first published on December 8, 2014.
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