The largest amateur variety act in the world is back for 2019, and a Macarthur student is one of the talented kids taking to the stage.
Campbelltown Performing Arts High School student Riley Lattuga is among the 57 students who will light up the Schools Spectacular stage as featured artists.
While this will be Riley's first year in Schools Spec, the Year 7 student has already been performing on stage in the Campbelltown region.
"I've done recent gigs in Ingleburn and a few school shows," Riley said.
When his teachers recommended he audition for Schools Spectacular, he didn't really understand the scale of the show, and had been watching videos from previous years to familiarise himself.
"I didn't know what Schools Spec was," Riley said. "I said 'alright'. I was pretty sure it was just a little thing."
It wasn't until his audition that Riley realised the massive scale of Schools Spec. The annual show holds a world record for 'largest amateur variety act' and this year will see Riley and his fellow featured artists shine brightly in a galaxy of more than 5,500 stars drawn from almost 400 public schools across NSW.
"I did some research. It's very big, it's very cool," Riley said.
In coming months, the featured artists and thousands of other stars will be dedicated to rehearsals and mustering their energy and passion to create a world-class performance in the best tradition of Schools Spectacular.
Creative Director Sonja Sjolander believes it is youthful exuberance, amazing talent and passion for performance that makes Schools Spec a must-see on the annual arts calendar and Australia's longest-running variety show.
"Our students love to be a part of Schools Spectacular and audiences just love their performances," Ms Sjolander said.
"It's a joy to see their faces light up with pride and achievement as they perform."
"Each one is a star, so this year we have chosen to celebrate each star's uniqueness in the universe with the theme: STARS."
Joining the featured artists will be a 2700-voice choir, 2300 dancers, a 100-piece symphony orchestra, stage band, the D'Arts Ensemble, the Aboriginal Dance Company, puppets and an indispensable behind-the-scenes team.
Four performances of the Schools Spectacular will be staged at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on Friday 22 November (11am, 7.30pm) and Saturday, 23 November (1pm, 7.30pm) and will be later broadcast across Australia on Channel Seven.
Tickets are already selling fast. Book online through Ticketek to avoid missing out.