AUDIENCE members at the annual Star Struck production were dazzled by the multitude of talent on offer during the 2016 performances.
Students from public schools right across the Hunter took part in the production, with matinee and evening performances being held on 17-18 June at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
The performances were the culmination of several months’ worth of preparation and rehearsals.
Scores of dedicated teachers and over 3600 dedicated students, supported by their loving families, collaborated to present the biggest show yet, since the program’s inception in 1992.
For Medowie siblings Emilee and Matthew Pedder, it was a rewarding opportunity to showcase their talents.
With the pair featuring in no less than 7 dances between them, Emilee (Year 10) and Matthew (Year 8), both students of Hunter School of the Performing Arts, the lead up months have certainly been hectic for the Pedder family.
Emilee said, “It’s such great fun. I love getting to make so many new friends and to catch up with friends I’ve had for years, such as the friends I had at Wirreanda Public School, because we now all go to different high schools.”
For younger brother Matthew, he was thrilled to be one of only three Year 8 students chosen in the Senior Contemporary Dance ensemble.
“It’s the highest dance group there is.
“There’s junior, intermediate and senior, so I was shocked to be chosen for the senior group,” he said.
“That was definitely the biggest highlight of this year’s show for me.”
Matthew also enjoyed the opportunity to perform with live music.
“Wednesday was a rehearsal in the Hall of Industries, but Thursday was a full technical rehearsal.
“It was the first time we’d got to rehearse with the live music and in full costume.
“It’s a lot different than performing to recorded music.”
For these well-spoken, enthusiastic teenagers, it’s certain they have an optimistic future ahead of them.
Currently they are rehearsing for roles in the Hairspray production to be performed next month.
The pair will feature on stage alongside the likes of Australian icons Christine Anu (Aria Award winner), Simon Burke (Playschool and Mary Poppins) and Wayne Scott Kermond (Anything Goes and Singing in the Rain).
By Jenny BAXTER