Published on

The music and heart of Paul Ong

Photos by Mark Godilano, Danny Roman, Chito Sta. Brigida, 204 Live Music

by Lucille Nolasco

Local singer Paul Ong’s fifth annual concert for a cause featured the famed Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the kids of Sistema Winnipeg.

Paul serenaded the audience with delightful classics, accompanied by the WSO led by its lively conductor, Naomi Woo.

In an interview with CKJS Radio’s Afternoon Pasada a few weeks before the event, Ong said that it’s interesting how all of this evolved. From a simple fundraiser for Team Canada participating in the 2015 World Championships of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) to a thanksgiving concert, the annual benefit concert has grown to help more students and young people.

“This all started because I really wanted to use music to give back to the community. In the process, I realized that more than the giving back part, I also love giving an opportunity to these kids to perform on a bigger stage.”

The event held on November 17 at Tec Voc High School raised a total of $28,000, for the benefit General Wolfe School, which received $3,000, and Sistema Winnipeg with $25,000.

The donation to General Wolfe School will go to the Children’s Heritage Fund of the Winnipeg School Division. Donations to the registered charity help enhance the educational experiences of students who attend schools in the Winnipeg School Division.

Sistema Winnipeg is an afterschool program that provides daily lessons to young people from kinder to grade 12 in partnership with the Winnipeg School Division, Seven Oaks School Division and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Ong said he is grateful for everyone’s help and involvement for this year’s concert for a cause, which featured the 60-piece orchestra and a 40-member choir.

“I am so grateful to everyone in the community for allowing us to use the show as a platform to help the community. This is surely a collective effort. Again, thank you very much!”