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Featured artists ready to reach for the stars

With only a fortnight until showtime, the youngest featured vocalists in this year’s Schools Spectacular can’t wait for you to sing and dance along.

Five students holding microphones in the middle of Qudos Bank Arena.

Intergalactic talent: (from left) Karl van Wel, Kiara Sloan, Riley Lattuga, Paige Hewlett and Jessica Laffan.

Six of the youngest stars in Schools Spectacular 2019 weren’t born when British pop group S Club 7 disbanded in 2003 but that hasn’t stopped them shining brightly in rehearsals.

A frantic schedule of practice is well underway for the 57 featured artists who will lead a galaxy of 5,500 stars in this year’s Schools Spectacular on 22 and 23 November.

The youngest, Willoughby Public School Year 5 student Jessica Laffan, said she couldn’t wait for audiences to see the show.

“I’m excited about singing and dancing with the whole crowd and with everyone, and for them to see the finale,” Jessica said.

Schoolyard friends Paige Hewlett (Year 4) and Kiara Sloan (Year 5), both students at Balgowlah Heights Public School, said sharing the stage with a familiar face was “comforting”.

“Especially when I first started, it made me feel better that I didn’t have to go completely from scratch to meet everyone, make a bunch of new friends, learn all the stuff,” Kiara said.

Jessica, Paige and Kiara will be joined on-stage by Newtown High School of the Performing Arts’ Karl van Wel (Year 8), Campbelltown Performing Arts High School’s Riley Lattuga (Year 7) and Jazmin Castle (Year 5) from Turvey Park Public School in Wagga Wagga.

The group will perform S Club 7’s ‘Reach’, the theme from ‘My Favorite Martian’ and a special celebration of 80 years of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

They took to the stage at Qudos Bank Arena for the first massed dance rehearsal last week alongside almost 2,500 co-stars.

At the rehearsal, the junior featured artists said they were thankful for having been mentored by their more experienced co-stars as well as the team of talented staff from The Arts Unit.

“The best advice that I was given was from Liam [Smith, a Year 12 student and featured artist from Davidson High School],” Karl said.

“He told me that each movement that you make on stage needs to be made with purpose and conviction and full confidence.

“You can’t do anything half-hearted when you’re on that stage, everything needs to be done properly.”

The Schools Spectacular will bring Qudos Bank Arena alive across four performances on Friday, 22 (11am, 7.30pm) and Saturday, 23 (1pm, 7.00pm) November.

Final tickets for the show are now on sale via Ticketek, so book soon to avoid disappointment.

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