Sunburst Virtual Concert 2020

The Business Times-CapitaLand Fundraiser

Annual fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) and School of the Arts Endowment Fund goes online for the first time in response to Covid-19 safe distancing measures

  • Fourth edition of Sunburst concert, Sunburst Virtual Concert 2020: The Business Times – CapitaLand Fundraiser broadcasts on Thursday 19 November 2020, 8 pm—8.45 pm on SOTA’s YouTube channel
  • Young talents respond with ingenuity to their study, play and work areas in school in the creation of their performances

19 November 2020 – The Sunburst Virtual Concert 2020: The Business Times – CapitaLand Fundraising Show will go online for the first time this year in response to the current Covid-19 safe distancing measures.

The concert, which since 2017 has been an annual fundraiser for School of the Arts Endowment Fund [SOTA EF] and Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) [MDAS], had been previously held at SOTA’s Concert Hall and Drama Theatre.

This new edition promises a refreshing and new take on the theme of “air.” Sunburst 2020 will see SOTA students responding with ingenuity and creativity to spaces within the SOTA campus for their performances while collaborative performances between SOTA and MDAS beneficiaries take on a digital spin with clever editing effects.

Says Mr Wong Wei Kong, Editor of The Business Times, which is the concert’s Organiser, “The impact of Covid-19 has highlighted more than ever the need for greater inclusivity. The message of Sunburst, in bringing together SOTA students and MDAS members on the same stage, is even more relevant. The restrictions brought about by the pandemic have also not derailed the show–instead it has unleashed a new creativity.”

This virtual event promises to be a visual treat and takes viewers inside the beautiful spaces of SOTA which was designed by Singapore architectural firm WOHA. The young talents have taken themselves out of the conventional concert stage to record their performances in unconventional settings like the school’s library, canteen, rooftop, and a grove-like terrace.

Viewers can expect to see refreshing takes on well-known works from pop to classical including John Lennon’s Imagine and Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.

Artistic Director Jeremiah Choy says: “I don’t see the Covid-19 situation as a “challenge” but instead an opportunity to rethink, reflect and maybe re-set some of the programming that we’ve done before. The performers are still able to bond over the internet and deliver an amazing programme. The situation allows us to showcase the different aspects and façade of SOTA and MDAS, rather than confining the concert to the theatre or concert hall. Here, the platform showcases how the students and the members adapt to the situation and allows them to deliver something different, something refreshing.”

Sunburst Virtual Concert 2020 aims to raise $250,000 in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) [MDAS] and the School of the Arts Endowment Fund (SOTA EF).
The concert’s presenting sponsor is CapitaLand, main sponsors are OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank; supported by DBS Bank and the SPH Foundation.

Mr Tan Seng Chai, Chief Corporate & People Officer for CapitaLand Group and Executive Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, says: “CapitaLand is delighted to partner The Business Times and return as the presenting sponsor of this inspirational concert for the fourth year to help build a more inclusive society. As a socially responsible company, CapitaLand has been giving back to the communities where we operate globally. This gives us a sense of purpose, a soul to our company. Through our philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, we support the social growth and development needs of underprivileged children so they can be nurtured to their full potential. We are heartened to see the resilience of our young beneficiaries putting together this virtual concert despite the pandemic. We hope that this concert will enable them to showcase their talents and give them greater confidence in shaping their future.”

Produced by arts and culture not-for-profit organisation Global Cultural Alliance, the 45-minute online concert also features members of MDAS and SOTA students in a collaborative cover of the catchy and resonant Bruno Mars’ number Count on Me. This performance acknowledges our interdependence and need for unity to rise against the disruptive nature of the pandemic, particularly in lives of MDAS members.

Mr William Eng, 32, MDAS member and designer with MDAS employment programme B-Hive says: “Despite difficulties we still can burst through the barriers like sunrays. Definitely felt very lucky and honoured that we can still perform under such circumstances. It’s been a fruitful experience. I’ve learnt a lot collaborating with this group of energetic, exciting, young talented students.”

SOTA students have augmented their vocal performances with visuals to amplify their sets. The group JFR (Jaime Chew, Freesia Tong, Raeanne Wong, all aged 15) have added a visual element to their medley When You Wish Upon a Star and Over the Rainbow with original art by MDAS members.

On behalf of the trio, SOTA Music student Raeanne Wong, 15, says: “To us, Sunburst is a platform that unites hearts and brings the community together. As such, we are immensely honoured to be given such an opportunity.”

Visual Arts student Freesia Tong adds, “Our performance includes a special visual arts component where we digitally drew on original artworks created by MDAS members. These meaningful and vibrant works represent friendship, hope and joy as we strive to create a more inclusive community.”