21st July, 2011
KOTA KINABALU: A slight delay in kicking off the second UNICEF Check Out for Children Challenge Charity Concert 2011, as the crowd waited for the arrival of special guests Emmanuel Home youths, did not stop the concert from being a complete success. Held recently on Sunday, 17 July 2011, at the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, the concert saw an audience turnout of about 350.
This is Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu’s second effort at hosting the concert, held in support of Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ joint initiative with UNICEF to support the world body’s various children education programmes. A total of 9 schools participated in the concert, presenting a diverse array of talent and skills, from modern dance to solo performances, from a strings ensemble to a Michael Jackson impersonation. The concert also showcased the talents of 3 bands from Sound Blazer Music School, 5 local bands ~ Jon Paradise, Wake Up Call, Donatello, Frontman Company and Quadro Forte, 2 hotel staff bands and Le Meridien Idol 2009 winner Azrin Azri, as well as a surprise appearance by Asbow, Sabah’s own 1st Bajau rapper, who recently cut a mini LP.
In her opening remark, the UNICEF COFC challenge champion and hotel Marketing Communications Manager Jocelyn Banding thanked the audience for coming and the concert’s sponsors, Celcom Berhad, Sound Blazer Music School, Pelancongan Taikar, Ingenio Talent Agency, Eye & Ears Production, The Orange Channel, Phillip Lee Printing, Creative Design Studio and Signscale Advertising, for their generous support.
Jocelyn also commented, “The concert crew is honoured to welcome the youths from Emmanuel Home, Kudat, who more than anyone else here represent UNICEF’s efforts in educating the world’s underprivileged children. These 57 youths come from less than well to do families, yet they are determined to have a better chance at life through education. Emmanuel Home has opened up the opportunity for them, and for their determination to gain an education, we salute the children.”
In closing her welcome speech, Jocelyn reassured the audience, “If you had in the past wondered how you could do your part to help the community, you should know that you have done that just by being here today, because the RM15nett that you spent on your ticket will be used to educate an underprivileged child in other parts of the world.”
SM Lok Yuk then opened the concert with an exhilarating modern dance. Students from SM Lok Yuk, SM Stella Maris, Maktab Sabah, SM St Francis Convent and SMK Likas showcased their dancing skills and drew loud applause from the crowd for their efforts. SM All Saints, Maktab Nasional and SM La Salle highlighted the vocal talents of their students whilst SM Tshung Tshin’s Strings Ensemble won hearts with their rendition of Canon In D and Einer Kleiner.