Inspired performances to end school year

The name and venue may have changed, but Spectacular Schools looks like being a big success, writes Glenn Cullen.

Image: Hoxton Park Public School gets into the swing of things with guest singer Micah June from Dural Public. School.

It was a bit different, but still spectacular.

With the uncertainty surrounding COVID, Schools Spectacular became ‘Spectacular Schools INSPIRED’ in 2021, the much-loved variety show making a move from Qudos Bank Arena to the playgrounds and performance centres of some 29 schools around the state.

Three lucky public schools were paid a visit by the Department of Education’s Arts Unit in conjunction with Gravity Media for a full day of filming: North Wagga; Hoxton Park and Busby West.

Their footage will be combined with self-produced work from the remaining schools for the final showcase of ‘Born to Be Brave’.

The four-minute film clip is currently in post-production and will be first aired on the Schools Spectacular website when school returns for 2022.

“While we may have missed out on an arena show this year, there has been a huge number of positives with the event,” said Sonja Sjolander, Arts Initiatives Advisor.

“The students have loved having the digital access and professional recording studios. I suspect events in the future may have some hybrid qualities.”

North Wagga kicked off proceedings on a wild and woolly day in The Riverina with Wagga Wagga High School student Jazmin Castle leading off the performance.

The skies cleared for Hoxton Park, who received a guest appearance from Dural Public School’s Micah June, an already seasoned performer who has appeared on Little Big Shots and has danced with Justin Bieber.

Busby West rounded out filming just before the school holidays, the School for Specific Purpose welcoming Riley Lattuga from Campbelltown Performing Arts High School to lead the production.

“We tailored our choreography to their needs at Busby West and the students really extended themselves and were allowed to shine,” Ms Sjolander said.

“The drone footage at the school will be one of the hero shots of the clip.

“But it wasn’t just the performance, having hundreds of other students cheering them on from the quadrangle was really heart-warming to see.

“It was an emotional day; for many of those boys it was their last day in primary school and it turned out to be a great way to go out.”

Schools Spectacular, which has been running since 1984, is expected to return to the big stage in 2022 using some of the fabulous learnings from Spectacular Schools INSPIRED.

Image: Riley Lattuga from Campbelltown Performing Arts High School joined the gang from Busby West Public School.
Image: North Wagga Public School battled the elements to put on a spectacular performance.
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