2017 State Schools Spectacular

Anything is Possible

‘The theme means quite a lot to me because I’m hearing impaired and I think it shows how anyone, no matter their difficulties, can get up there and sing.’

When Mount View Primary School Grade 4 student Akeira Somphanpanya was watching the Victorian State Schools Spectacular — one of Australia’s largest recurring productions — on television last year, she was bowled over.

The hearing impaired student decided then and there to audition for the show the following year.

Showtime for Victorian students to shine

On 16 September, she will be one of more than 3000 students from 200 government schools across Victoria to shine at the 2017 State School Spectacular, themed Anything is Possible.

Akeira will perform alongside a spectacular student ensemble, including a 64 piece orchestra, 1300 voice choir, with 30 lead vocalists and eight backing vocalists, 1200 mass dancers, 16 principal dancers and 20 ensemble dancers, roller skaters and puppeteers — and more.

‘My mum told me I could be a part of it as well and I thought if I could be involved, I would be very proud of myself and it would be an amazing achievement,’ Akeira says.
‘The theme means quite a lot to me because I’m hearing impaired and I think it shows how anyone, no matter their difficulties, can get up there and sing. I want to show people that anyone can do it.’

Spectacular students shine

The annual State Schools Spectacular, now in its 22nd year, provides Victoria’s government school students an invaluable performing arts opportunity. During the months of rehearsals leading up to the show, students also develop their creative skills, discipline, perseverance and confidence.

Participating students work with leading industry professionals, including Creative Director Neill Gladwin, Musical Director Chong Lim, Dance Director Deon Nuku, (Scooby Doo, Happy Feet, Moulin Rouge) and Associate Dancer Director Troy Phillips (King Kong the Musical, Moulin Rouge, Hairspray, The Boy from Oz).

Students also work behind the scenes on audio, lighting and video production, stage management, costume and film, make up, photography, and publicity.

The Victorian Spectacular’s growing alumni includes Vanessa Amorosi, Opera Australia artist Nicole Car, Hairspray lead Jaz Flowers, actress and Korean pop artist Hany Lee (Neighbours, Wentworth) and winner of The Voice Harrison Craig.

‘Opportunities like the Spectacular are really important for students because they have a lot of fun and it also gives them the confidence to believe in themselves. It really makes them shine,’ Akeira says.

‘For me, singing helps cheer me up when I feel down and it’s a great way to express emotions.’

Show time

This year’s Spectacular, produced by the Department, will take place across two shows at Hisense Arena on Saturday, 16 September.

Akeira, a member of the Victorian State Schools Choir, will be performing in the event for the first time.

‘I’ve never been involved in something this big before,’ she says.

‘I can’t wait to perform in front of so many people and it’s so exciting to think about how many faces will be looking down at me.

‘I’m going to be like the famous tennis players, only instead of tennis, it will be me up there singing.’

For more information on the Spectacular, see: Victorian State Schools Spectacular

For ticketing information, see: Buy tickets