Singapore, 19 September 2015 — Some 250 people gathered at NKF Shaw Auditorium earlier today to enjoy an afternoon of original performances by the finalists of Melody of Hope 2015 – a song-writing competition and showcase for the youths organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement.
The second edition of Melody of Hope challenged young aspiring singer-songwriters to push their creative boundaries with the theme of “A Nation of Kindness Starts with One”. Open to children and youths aged between 7 to 26 years of age, a total of 44 song entries were received, with more submissions coming from primary and secondary school students as compared to last year.
After a round of online voting through the month of July, 15 participants advanced to the next stage and underwent two mentoring sessions with seasoned local professionals. The finalists then had their moment in the spotlight at the Grand Finale, bringing their original compositions to life with their onstage performances. The day’s programme also featured performances by Tammie Lim, Melody of Hope 2014 winner, and Homesongs 2014 winner, Natalie Hiong, who was one of five mentors to the young musicians.
Supporters and members of the public present at the Grand Finale had an important part to play as their votes counted towards 5% of the finalists’ total scores. In a close finish, Anne Cheah, Julia Chiang, Julia Anne Ng and Nora Deanna Pauline Chan from Canossa Convent Primary School emerged as the winners of Melody of Hope 2015’s ‘Kindness Song of the Year’. They won themselves $1,000 cash, professional vocal coaching lessons and a special feature in an upcoming compilation album.
“Participating in Melody of Hope has definitely been an enriching and meaningful experience for us,” shared the group of girls whose original composition, “Our Own Special Ways”, won the judges over with their moving lyrics and musical accompaniment. “The song-writing component really made us think deeper about kindness in our society and how we can all play a part to create a kinder and better Singapore. We’re glad the judges liked our song and that we were able to share the message of kindness with everyone.”
Mentors Yoong Xin Yun, Leonard Tang, Natalie Hiong, Vanessa Faith, and Ryan Hess guided the young finalists through the early stages of the competition. Under their tutelage, the participants were encouraged to dig deeper into their own repertoire and pick up practical performing tips from these seasoned professionals. Natalie Hiong, an established local acoustic-pop singer-songwriter said, “I was very impressed with the students’ eagerness to learn and their strong passion for music despite their young age. Music is such a powerful medium for creative expression and opening minds to important messages, such as kindness and graciousness. Melody of Hope is a wonderful platform for budding musicians among the younger generation to do so.”
Dr. William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, said, “This is our second year organising Melody of Hope and we continue to be awed by the creativity demonstrated by our young participants. Our youths are unfairly typecast as passive and pampered at times, and this is one occasion when their strong determination and artistic talents have shone brightly to dismiss this notion. I hope the participants will bring the spirit of the theme with them beyond the competition to make an even greater impact in their everyday lives by putting kindness into action.”