The is aptly named, it is spectacular. Witnessing the sheer scale of this spectacle is awe-inspiring. On top of that, the fact that such talented young people from public schools across NSW are the headliners driving the show is simply amazing.

15220193_1153901351312239_7469654966994091558_nEveryone involved—soloists, dancers, choir, orchestra and band members—were beaming. The 39 featured artists and 63 featured dancers did themselves proud with their performances. It’s easy to come away impressed by the caliber of upcoming Australian talent. Standouts include: 2016 Australia’s Got Talent winner, Fletcher Pilon; Harmony Lovegrove’s note-perfect rendition of the powerhouse song from Wicked, ‘Deifying Gravity’; and Sebastian Kelly-Toiava with his poignant cultural ballad, “Took The Children Away“.

The 2700-strong choir was considerably impressive with a stellar vocal performance of ‘O Fortuna’, which bookended the show. The production quality throughout the show was outstanding with lighting and pyrotechnics perfectly setting the mood for each act.  

15181383_1153901344645573_900760969213508750_nFrom a stunning performance of aerial acrobatics on silks, the giant mascot style puppets of the Charlie Brown gang and the absolute delight of the special needs children dancing—some with their wheelchairs transformed into bright red prop planes—the 2016 Schools Spectacular was filled with energy and joy. Topping the evening off, Schools Spectacular achieved a new Guinness World Record this year as the largest amateur variety act with more than 5000 students involved, sending everyone into a frenzy of excitement. What an incredible feat to witness!

Hats off to all of the incredible teachers, mentors, choreographers and parents who encourage these talented kids and make this show possible. With slogans like, ‘We’re a spectacular school’ and ‘Dream Big’, Schools Spectacular is giving kids the opportunity to share their gifts, believe in themselves, and have the courage to reach for the stars. What a truly fantastic initiative.

Photos: Anna Warr

Jess Wright – Talking Arts and Theatre Now