The 2020 Victorian State Schools Spectacular

Posted on: 11/11/2020 6:00PM

The 2020 Victorian State Schools Spectacular was due to be performed twice on Saturday 12 September at John Cain Arena. Instead of bumping in and out of the arena, makeshift film studios have been bumped into the homes of main cast members across the state to produce a made-for-TV special which will be broadcast by the Seven Network later this year.


While the live arena event cannot proceed, this year’s modified, alternative performance outcome has inspired more than 2000 students to put in much effort during a time of upheaval in their lives. This year’s Spectacular features performances reflecting themes of resilience, rising up and the art of connection.


Victorian State Schools Spectacular students have dedicated countless hours across many months involving approximately 2000 Zoom sessions since April preparing for this show. Persistence, dedication and determination have been the overwhelming traits these students have exhibited in 2020. The year has been like no other and they have maintained engagement and passion throughout difficult times. Supported by a dedicated team of people striving to give them a whole new perspective on how they can reach audiences through the art of performance, this has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.


The dance team alone has run over 50 sessions in three weeks via Zoom and Webex to teach all the students new choreography that had to be totally revamped from performing in an arena with massive floor space and to three sides of an audience, to what can be danced in a contained space in front of a green screen, in front of a fixed, unmoving camera.


The members of the orchestra, backing vocalists and members of the Victorian State School Choir also worked through countless online rehearsal and recording sessions adapting to the new format with students making DIY sound booths out of their wardrobe, blankets, cushions and boxes. The production team virtually recorded each of them individually before mixing and mastering tracks to accompany the visuals.


In addition to that, students from 83 state schools across Victoria forming the mass choir and mass dance ensembles are recording their performances to numerous songs on their mobile phones, laptops or e-pads. These are uploaded for processing by the technical team for inclusion into the numbers. This includes audio and vision splicing work for each student, for each song, to bring together voices, faces, and dance moves into magical backdrops for the TV broadcast.


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