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Spectacular teachers big part of blockbuster
It’s not just singing and dancing students that make for the wonderful vibe that spreads through the stadium during Schools Spectacular performances
A huge commitment from teachers helped fuel the performances of the 5500 students from more than 370 schools during concerts on 22 and 23 November — paperwork and logistics included.
The experience of teachers May Ptolemy and Talia Fry from Cambridge Gardens Public School gives just a small insight into what happens around the state in order to give groups of students the rare opportunity to be part of the variety show.
While Talia plans the students’ act for their audition tape, and once selected for the event works on rehearsals, May helps with permission notes, costs and the wellbeing of students.
But despite the long hours over many months, they assure Education their efforts bring great rewards.
“You build a strong bond with your students unlike what you can achieve in the school environment,” Talia said. “You really get to know your students.
“We get to meet teachers from other schools, have great conversations with them and learn from their experience.”
May said the Schools Spectacular widens students’ life experiences such as hearing music styles they may not have heard, speaking with students from remote schools, catching a train to the venue with an Opal card and learning to be resilient during long days of rehearsals.
Homebush Public School teacher Greg Blundell has assisted with the Schools Spectacular for 11 years, in a number of roles including this year as a tunnel manager, cueing the entry of all the performers through a tunnel to the performance areas and main stage, with the help of three assistants.
Greg describes the Spectacular as “the ultimate NSW public schools performing arts event”.
“It’s truly special. No one does it like we do it anywhere,” Greg said.
“I should be tired at the end of the year but I go away from the event feeling invigorated. I enjoy meeting up with friends and seeing how great the kids can be.
“I love to see the kids with smiles on their faces.”
The stage manager/director of the school show back at Homebush, Greg said the acts he sees give him ideas for the next school show.
Federation is proud to be part of the Schools Spectacular family, as the major sponsor.
In a video played to the audience, President Maurie Mulheron acknowledged the “contribution of all who make the Schools Spectacular a wonderful celebration of the arts in public education”.
“This stage is a reflection of the dedication of our public school students, teachers, parents and caregivers, the production team and the Arts Unit,” he said.
“Creative and performing arts experiences have the potential to create stars in every one of our public schools.”
Kerri Carr is a staff writer
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