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Stars named for Schools Spectacular

The largest amateur variety act in the world is back for 2019, and the astronomical talent at its centre has been announced.

Olina and Ezra Loau

Rising stars: Schools Spec sister and brother performers Olina and Ezra Loau.

The 40 students who will light up the Schools Spectacular stage as featured artists come from all corners of the state.

The theme for the 2019 Schools Spectacular is STARS and these featured performers will shine brightly in a galaxy of more than 5500 stars drawn from public schools across NSW.

Among the students to take the stage at Qudos Bank Arena in November will be high schooler Sam Green, from Alstonville on the state’s far north coast, and two students from Wagga Wagga in the state’s south – Jazmin Castle and Edward Prescott.

A quarter of the featured artists come from the Illawarra region, with seven students attending Wollongong Performing Arts High School.

Bossley Park High School students Ezra and Olina Loau are one of two sets of siblings among the featured artists, with the brother and sister duo sharing 10 years of Schools Spectacular experience between them.

“The reason I come back every year is because each year gets better and better, and I just don’t want to miss out,” Ezra said.

Olina’s performance last year saw her suspended mid-air while wearing a “massive dress” in what she said was “the most fun I’ve ever had on stage”.

“I think it’s very hard to top the flying in the air thing, but I think production-wise it will be bigger and better,” Olina said.

Olina will also appear in the Australia’s Got Talent final after picking up Jessica Mauboy’s Golden Buzzer in the first semi-final.

In coming months, the featured artists and thousands of other stars will be dedicated to rehearsals and mustering their energy and passion to create a world-class performance in the best tradition of Schools Spectacular.

Creative Director Sonja Sjolander believes it is youthful exuberance, amazing talent and passion for performance that makes ‘Schools Spec’ a must-see on the annual arts calendar and Australia’s longest-running variety show.

“Our students love to be a part of Schools Spectacular and audiences just love their performances,” Ms Sjolander said.

“It’s a joy to see their faces light up with pride and achievement as they perform.”

Joining the featured artists will be a 2,700-voice choir, 2,300 dancers, a 100-piece symphony orchestra, stage band, the D’Arts Ensemble, the Aboriginal Dance Company, puppets and an indispensable behind-the-scenes team.

Four performances of the Schools Spectacular will be staged at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on Friday 22 November (11am, 7.30pm) and Saturday, 23 November (1pm, 7.30pm) and will be later broadcast across Australia on Channel Seven.

Tickets are already selling fast. Book online through Ticketek to avoid missing out.

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