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Stars align for Southern Stars ICONIC

Creative talent has been recognised as Southern Stars ICONIC took out four honours at the Canberra Area Theatre Awards on the weekend.

Southern Stars 2018

The Southern Stars cast in the 2018 ICONIC finale. Credit: Anna Warr Photography.

The 2018 arena spectacular won against strong competition for Best Production of a Variety Show, Best Variety Performance by an Individual or Ensemble, Best Musical Direction for a School or Youth Production and Best Youth Orchestra.

Southern Stars is a Department of Education performing arts event held annually at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong and features 3,000 public school students from around NSW.

Executive Producer Paul Roger, principal of Corrimal High School, said the awards were recognition of the hard work of the thousands of students, hundreds of teachers, loyal sponsors and the many volunteers who work so hard to produce the biggest arena show in southern NSW each year.

"These awards are an industry acknowledgment of the talent and effort our performers, the management team, and all the dedicated staff who work backstage to produce a world-class arena variety show," Mr Roger said.

In awarding the Best Production of a Variety Show the judges gave Southern Stars ICONIC high praise for the depth and breadth of musical items, the variety of performances, and the sheer scale of production.

"They were impressed by so many elements of the show, but there was special mention of our inclusivity of students in the signing choir and disABILITY items," Mr Roger said.

"We are so proud of Ruby Hawken (Burwood Girls High School), the backing vocalists, and the Peterborough Signing Choir who were awarded the Best Variety Performance by an Individual or Ensemble."

Peter Copeland, musical director for the past 10 years – and a performer since the first show in 2001 – was recognised with Best Musical Direction for a School or Youth Production and also accepted the award for Best Youth Orchestra.

“His efforts and commitment to Southern Stars are unparalleled,” Mr Roger said.

“We know, and anyone who came to Southern Stars ICONIC would know, that the show was the best one in our 18-year history.

“We are already working hard on our 2019 show, and the awards give us a little bit more encouragement as we work through the next few months of auditions, consolidating the exciting creative elements of the show, and getting ready to hit the stage again in August.”

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