Victoria’s students reach for the stars

​2017 State Schools Spectacular

'The Spectacular was the biggest audience I’ve ever performed in front of, so the experience has been invaluable.'

Brentwood Secondary College student Isabella Clarke, 13, wowed thousands of Victorians with her performance at the 2017 Victorian State Schools Spectacular at Hisense Arena earlier this month.

Now she’s set to shine in the international spotlight when she represents Australia at the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Asked how she felt before the show, she says: 'I was more excited than nervous.

'The Spectacular was the biggest audience I’ve ever performed in front of, so the experience has been invaluable.'

For Isabella, the highlight was singing her solo Euphoria supported by the 64-piece orchestra, 1300-voice choir, 1200 mass dancers, ensemble dancers and backing vocalists.

A Spectacular show

The Year 7 student took to the stage with 3000 young stars in the Spectacular. She was a principal singer in the musical extravaganza that’s one of Australia’s largest recurring productions.

The Spectacular cast, from more than 200 state schools, took to the stage on 16 September to prove this year’s theme - that 'anything is possible' when you combine months of hard work with 'Pure Imagination' (from 'Charlie and the Chocolate factory').

The annual event provides an invaluable performing arts opportunity for Victoria’s government school students, developing their creative skills, discipline, perseverance and confidence over months of rehearsals.

Springboard to world stage

Isabella says being part of such a big and professional production is 'great grounding' for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which is to be held in Georgia on 26 November and broadcast to millions of viewers around the world.

Isabella says she felt 'absolute shock' when she was selected to represent Australia 'at such an amazing event'.

'I’m also looking forward to visiting Georgia for the first time and meeting all the other performers. It’s a dream come true and I hope I do my family and Australia proud.'

Isabella, who started singing four years ago, says she’s inspired by superstars Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige. She hopes to join her idols and become an international recording artist.

ABC and production partner Blink TV selected Isabella to represent Australia at the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) in consultation with leading Australian record companies.

Make your vote count

So far 16 countries have registered for the 2017 JESC. And this year, for the first time, Australian viewers will have a chance to vote for their favourite contestant.

For more information, see: Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017