It’s been three years since NSW held a Schools Spectacular as COVID-19 stopped performing arts students from across the state taking their talents to the stage.
After the annual showcase was again cancelled last year, a decision was made to take the event online – and Spectacular Schools was born.
Submissions to be part of the high-quality digital showcase of NSW public school achievements opened in November. Students were asked to submit four minutes of creative work under the theme “Inspired”.
Karabar High School created and filmed its submission in little more than a week, merging various layers of videos to showcase 60 passionate performing arts students from year 7 to year 12 singing, dancing and sharing their talents.
The school’s creative and performing arts executive director Alison Cronan said it was a great opportunity.
“We normally try and get involved in Schools Spectacular every year when it’s live and, since it hasn’t run in two years, we just jumped on it when this opportunity popped up,” Mrs Cronan said.
COVID-19 restrictions made it difficult for the students to arrange a showcase submission because they couldn’t all get together.
“We had to do one line at a time,” Mrs Cronan said. “We got all the orchestra kids in and, one instrument at a time, they laid down their track. Then we got the singers in on another day.
“Following that we did a dance day where we rehearsed online and recorded that same afternoon.”
Karabar High School’s video submission I’ll make a man out of you includes instrumental snippets, singing, acting, dancing, and a ninja warrior course where students got down and dirty at Kids Firm in Narrabundah to capture their characters.
Their efforts paid off when Karabar was selected in the digital showcase.
Mrs Cronan said performing arts taught students a number of important skills, including collaboration and creativity.
“I think it’s really nice for kids in year 7 to work with kids in year 12 and to make friends across all the years,” she said.
“They make life-long friends who they can keep in touch with after school.
“It’s open to everyone. We only audition for leading roles so anyone who wants to be in the chorus or just wants to be a part of the show or learn something new is welcome.”
Karabar High School students now look forward to physically treading the boards for their annual school production, a cabaret titled The story of my life, set to hit Erindale Theatre from 2 May.
“Hopefully we will be back performing in a theatre in the traditional way soon,” Mrs Cronan said. “But we’re ready to do an outdoor performance or film or do whatever we need to do so the kids can still enjoy what they’re doing in our new COVID adventure.”
The Spectacular Schools – Inspired showcase will remain open to schools until 8 April, 2022. Find out how to take part here.