Veteran composer-conductor David Gwilt wooed music lovers with his comic conducting skills at the Cultural Centre to mark the official opening of Operation Santa Claus. Proceeds this year will go to the Kely Support Group, which supports young people with drugs, sex and family problems. The concert, Starlight Capriccio, was jointly staged by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, which also organise the annual charity function. Sponsored by UK-based bank Lloyds TSB, the performance brought together businessmen, professionals and amateur musicians for an evening of laughter and music. There were roars of laughter when Mr Gwilt, a former professor of music at Chinese University, delighted audiences with his antics, frantically waving his arms and legs and shaking his hips. At one point he declared: 'There's one thing that musicians must all have. Is that brains? . . . No, it's the baton,' he said as he began pulling out batons from various parts of his costume. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts director Professor Lo King-man gave a stirring rendition of the Spanish opera Granada after saying: 'This charity is about helping young people deal with their problems. I think it's a cause that's worth supporting.' The chairwoman of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Anna Pao Sohmen, also performed a choreographed dance based on the theme song from Schindler's List. The evening was presided over by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's wife, Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping, who said she thought the concert was a great way to get people to donate money. Kely Support Group chairman Andrew Jones said: 'It's a great start to the Operation Santa Claus campaign and we are very excited to be a part of it and looking forward to more fund-raising in the next few weeks.'