Get Involved

The Victorian State Schools Spectacular celebrates the enormous talent that exists in Victorian government schools, bringing together about 3000 students in a musical extravaganza at Hisense Arena.

The Spectacular promotes student engagement and educational outcomes by boosting motivation, building confidence and self-esteem, leadership skills, cooperation, collaboration, forging friendships and a sense of belonging.

There are a number of different ways to get involved. Registrations and auditions are open for schools and students who are interested in performing as part of the Spectacular.

  • Schools can register an expression of interest to participate in the choir or dance groups, or to nominate a specialty group.
  • Students can register to audition for the main vocals, dance, orchestra or as an independent performer at the Performing Arts Unit in Collingwood, or submit a video audition.
  • Students interested in creative and technical production roles can register to gain work experience.

School registrations for 2018 are now closed. Registrations for 2019 will re-open in October 2018.

School Participation

Schools can participate as part of the Mass Dance and Mass Choir ensembles. Students can only participate in Mass Dance or Mass Choir as these groups can be required to be on stage at the same time.

Mass Dance

No previous experience or audition is required to participate in the Mass Dance ensemble for the Spectacular. However, schools may have their own internal audition process to be involved.

The school principal must be endorse all expressions of interest and each school must nominate a dedicated teacher for all communications.

It is up to each individual school to select students, submit its expression of interest and to coordinate school-based rehearsals. Each school group can have up to 16 students.

There are four rounds of rehearsals throughout the year in regional hubs across Victoria. Each school is placed in a group depending on its location. Dates for these rehearsals are provided to contact teachers once casting has been finalised and will be during school hours. Each school will receive a teachers' handbook and demonstration DVD. Costumes are also provided at no cost.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast dress rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date.

Students will receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular and their name will be included in the program.

Massed dancers waving fans

Mass Choir

No previous experience or audition is required to participate in the Mass Choir ensemble for the Spectacular. However, schools may have their own internal audition process to be involved.

The school principal must endorse all expressions of interest and each school must nominate a dedicated contact teacher for all communications. Each school can have a group of up to 20 students.

It is up to each individual school to select students, submit its expression of interest and coordinate school-based rehearsals. Schools will receive all resources for rehearsals from the Performing Arts Unit.

There will be two mass choir rehearsals in Melbourne during Term 3. Dates for these rehearsals are provided once casting has been finalised and will be within school hours.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast dress rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date.

Students will receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular and their name will be included in the program.

Students singing in a mass choir

Victorian State Schools Orchestra

Individual Victorian government school students can participate in the Spectacular as a musician in the orchestra, made up of 80 players.

Students participate as individuals, but must attend a government school and be AMEB level 5 or equivalent. Please contact the Performing Arts Unit if you are AMEB Level 4 or below as other opportunities may be available.

It is the responsibility of individual students, not the individual’s school, to register for an audition. The Performing Arts Unit holds auditions and oversees the selection process.

The repertoire is varied and ranges from classical to contemporary music. Rehearsals will commence in Term 1 and continue throughout Terms 2 and 3 at the Performing Arts Unit in Collingwood on weekends.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date.

Taking part in the orchestra provides students with the opportunity to participate in additional public performances if they arise. Students will receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular and their name will be included in the program.

Student orchestra playing in a large auditorium

Victorian State Schools Choir

There is an opportunity for individual Victorian government school students to join the Victorian State Schools Choir. The Victorian State Schools Choir is a specialist ensemble that operates as part of the Performing Arts Unit.

Singers for the choir are selected through an audition process held by the Performing Arts Unit. It is the responsibility of individual students, not their school, to register themselves for an audition. We look for well-tuned voices and students that would enjoy and benefit from additional choir. Students should show musical aptitude but do not need to be able to read music. This opportunity is open for students from Years 5-12.

The choir rehearses weekly throughout the year on weekends. The Victorian State Schools Choir program curriculum includes music literacy, vocal technique and part-singing. School principals will be notified of student absences where necessary.

The choir performs in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular as the core of our Mass Choir, and at additional public performance opportunities if they arise throughout the school year.

In 2011, the Victorian State Schools Choir sang at the Government House reception for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, and in 2012 for the visit of Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. They also performed Christmas carols at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2012.

Students are expected to commit to weekend rehearsals on a Saturday at the Performing Arts Unit in Collingwood for Terms 1, 2 and 3, except during school holidays.  Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for up to three days prior to the performance in September for full cast rehearsals.

For information please contact the Department's Performing Arts Unit on (03) 9415 1700 (Monday - Friday) or email performing.arts@edumail.vic.gov.au

Victorian State Schools Choir performing

Backing Vocalists

Individual Victorian government school students can participate in the Spectacular as a backing vocalist. There are up to 15 backing vocalists in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular cast.

Backing vocalists are selected through an audition process held by the Performing Arts Unit. It is the responsibility of individual students, not the school, to register for an audition.

Taking part as a backing vocalist provides students with the possibility to participate in additional public performances if they arise. Students will also receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular and have their name in the program.

Rehearsals will take place in Terms 1, 2 and 3 at the Performing Arts Unit in Collingwwod on the weekend excluding school holidays.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date. School principals will be notified of student absences.

Singers performing on stage

Dance Ensemble

Individual Victorian government school students can participate in the Spectacular as part of the Dance Ensemble.

The Performing Arts Unit holds auditions, which may include a call-back audition in order for the creative team to complete the selection process. It is the responsibility of individual students, not the school, to register for an audition.

Rehearsals will take place on weekends in Melbourne in Terms 1, 2 and 3. There will also be intensive rehearsals in school holidays which students are required to attend and dates for these rehearsals are provided once casting has been finalised.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date. School principals will be notified of student absences if necessary.

Taking part in the Dance Ensemble provides students with the opportunity to participate in additional public performances if they arise. Students will receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular and have their name in the program.

Dancers performing in colourful outfits

Principal Dancers

Individual Victorian government school students can participate in the Spectacular as a principal dancer. Principal dancers are featured during the dance ensemble acts, and also have the opportunity for solo performances throughout the show. The Principal Dance cast comprises of the top dancers from Victorian government schools.

The Performing Arts Unit holds auditions, followed by a selection process, which may involve call-backs. It is the responsibility of individual students, not the school, to register for an audition.

Rehearsals will take place in Melbourne. Dancers will be required to attend weekend rehearsals (on a Saturday or Sunday) during Terms 1, 2 and 3. There will also be intensive holiday rehearsals which dancers are expected to attend.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast dress rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date. School principals will be notified of student absences where necessary.

Taking part as a principal dancer provides students with the opportunity to participate in additional public performances if they arise. Students will receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular and have their headshot featured in the program. In addition, there may also be some media and performance opportunities.

Large group of dancers perform their finale

Principal Vocalists

Individual Victorian government school students can participate in the Spectacular as principal vocalists. Principal vocalists are featured throughout the show and also have the opportunity for solo performances.

The repertoire varies from classical to contemporary music and the students will be able to hone their performance skills for live performance television.

Selections for the vocal cast are by audition. These are held at the Performing Arts Unit, followed by a selection process, which may involve call-backs. It is the responsibility of individual students, not the school, to register for an audition. The Directors are looking for strong, confident singers with exceptional pitch perfect control who can captivate an audience and connect with the songs. Auditions are open to all ages.

Rehearsals will take place in Terms 1, 2 and 3 at the Performing Arts Unit in Melbourne. Dates for these are provided once casting has been finalised and will be on Saturdays and Sundays.

Intensive rehearsals are scheduled during holidays and vocalists may be scheduled to attend.

Students are also required to be onsite at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park for production week prior to the performance in September for full cast dress rehearsals. A detailed production week schedule will be provided closer to the performance date. School principals will be notified of student absences where necessary.

Taking part as a principal vocalist provides students with the opportunity to participate in additional public performances if they arise. Students will receive a certificate for participating in the Spectacular as well as have their headshot featured in the souvenir program. In addition, there may also be some media and performance opportunities.

Dancers dress is pulled to form the form of a flower

Independent Performers

In addition to the core cast of the Victorian State Schools Spectacular, Independent Performers and Specialty Acts are invited by the creative team to take part in the show. Involvement is based on a show requirement and decided each year.

Specialty acts that were involved in the 2016 Victorian State Schools Spectacular are:

Independent Performers

Beat Boxer, Lachlan Stewart
Circus Act, Daniel Tohill
Hula Hoop, Clancy Lee
Magic Act, Tim Mason

Specialty Groups

Hoppers Crossing Secondary College Dancers
Puppeteers
Roller Skaters

Cost

Participating in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular is free for all students and costumes are provided to schools at no extra cost. Students are required to purchase a Spectacular t-shirt, which are provided at a cost price of approximately $12.

Some additional costs may be incurred through travel and accommodation.

CRT costs will be the schools’ responsibility. The teacher staffing levels must meet the Department's policy, see: Staffing and Supervision

More Information

For more information, please contact the Department's Performing Arts Unit on (03) 9415 1700 (Monday - Friday) or email performing.arts@edumail.vic.gov.au

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