ChildAid stars took centre stage in November, singing and dancing in the charity concert. Now, a few of the young talents are taking centre stage internationally.
They include Lilo Baier, 11, and Emiliano Cyrus, nine, both of whom played lead roles in the two-day concert.
Lilo performed in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall on Dec 16, singing to a sold-out audience How Far I’ll Go, the theme song of Disney film Moana.
ChildAid is jointly organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, and raises money for disadvantaged children as part of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
Lilo got to perform at Carnegie Hall after winning the No. 1 spot in the American Protege International Vocal Competition in the Solo Broadway/Musical Theatre/Jazz category earlier last year.
Her father Wolfgang Baier, 43, group chief executive of beauty products distributor Luxasia, said: “I realised the magnitude of Carnegie Hall only after some business meetings in the city. People were shocked to hear the reason I was in New York.”
Said Lilo’s performing arts teacher Kuo Po, who was also in New York to cheer her on: “After ChildAid, Lilo’s confidence level rose… Her dream is to be a performer.”
Singapore-born Lilo said: “I was so nervous at first, but once I got onstage, I felt like I could do this for the rest of my life.”
For Emiliano, the journey has been breathless. Four days after the ChildAid concert ended on Nov 25, he was whisked off to China to perform in Beijing. He did a duet, singing Teresa Teng’s well-known hit, The Moon Represents My Heart, at a charity concert. The concert, called China And The World: Saving Children And Mothers, was organised by the United Nations Every Woman Every Child China Partnership Network and the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development.
Emiliano took part in 21 shows in the United States last month, mainly dancing, acting, singing and modelling for Disney Channel in Disneyland Orlando, said his mother Gracemaple Kwok, 46, executive director of GT Robot Technology.
Emiliano, a Portuguese, told The Straits Times: “It has been an emotional journey and I feel excited about my achievements in 2017. I would love to perform more for charity and help contribute to society.”
An early ChildAid star who has gone on to a bigger stage is Nathan Hartono, 26, who performed in the 2005 concert. He came in second in the highly competitive contest Sing! China in 2016.