The last word on Spectacular Schools is Speechless

The final feature of the Spectacular Schools – Inspired series gives voice to students throughout the state.

A young woman singing with her arms open wide
Image: Breaking ground: Josie Woods from Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School is the first hearing-impaired solo artist selected for Spectacular Schools.

While the title may suggest otherwise, the last instalment of the Spectacular Schools – Inspired series won’t be going away quietly.

Speechless is something of a call to arms for students across NSW, encouraging them to use their voice.

The message is clear: it doesn’t matter whether you sign or speak your message, the importance lies in developing the confidence and opportunities to deliver it.

And Speechless lives that ethos.

Josie Woods (Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School), the first hearing-impaired solo artist selected for Spectacular Schools, signs in Auslan for the featured singers Olina Loau (Bossley Park High School) and Monika Mitrevska (Kiama High School).

Josie created her own movements for the production, interpreting the song lyrics based on Auslan and also teaching some of her fellow artists a little signing along the way.

“This song was very special to me. I connected with it instantly,” Josie said.

“It’s like trying to break free from something that has been holding you back and just being able to release it and share that.

“I’ve personally experienced some setbacks and it’s just been amazing to use music and my signing to work through this and share this with everyone.”

Filmed at Gubbuh Gubbuh, Middle Head and Leura, as well as numerous school halls and ovals throughout NSW, the Speechless choir features 460 primary and secondary school students across the state in an epic crescendo to the series.

Olina said the Speechless experience was extraordinary, and paid tribute to her teachers and fellow performers – particularly Josie.

“Performing with Josie has been incredible,” Olina said.

“Actually, in the studio I was kind of getting a little bit emotional because it was amazing to see her in such a beautiful way, expressing herself.

“She’s really taught me some things. I express through my voice and she expresses through her sign language and that exchange is so powerful.”

Speechless is the final Spectacular Schools production with the Schools Spectacular set to return to the big stage at Qudos Bank Arena on November 25 and 26.

The Spectacular Schools Inspired initiative is proudly supported by Telstra, NSW Teachers Federation, School Bytes, Teachers Health, RØDE and teenBreathe.

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