Newcastle stars will help bring the curtain down spectacularly on Sydney icon

[PHOTO CREDIT: Patrick Boland Hunter stars ready to shine on the Schools Spectacular stage are Alexandra Riordan, Mia Sifflet, Elise Fairley, Jamie Razon, Stephanie Russell and Madison Lee who are all rehearsing regularly together in Sydney]


Eight shining stars from four Newcastle schools will bring the illustrious spotlight of the Schools Spectacular onto the Hunter over the next few months.


The talented local performers have been chosen to join the Schools Spectacular which after 32 years brings the curtain down on the Sydney Entertainment Centre (now known as the Qantas Credit Union Arena) include Featured Artists:

  • Elise Fairley, Charlestown - Hunter School of Performing Arts

  • Liam Faulkner-Dimond, Chittaway Bay - Hunter School of Performing Arts

  • Jamie Razon, Booragul - Lake Macquarie High

  • Alexandra Riordan, The Junction - Hunter School of Performing Arts

  • Stephanie Russell, Newcastle - Hunter School of Performing Arts

  • Mia Sifflet, Hamilton - Newcastle High


and Backing Vocalists:

  • Tom Johnson, Nords Wharf – Belmont High

  • Madison Lee, Corlette - Hunter School of Performing Arts


As well as being part of the biggest entertainment spectacular of its kind in the world, NAME will also be seen by millions across the nation on the Nine, WIN and NBN networks which will feature their own productions of the acclaimed Schools Spectacular Sydney shows.


Two of the Hunter contingent, Liam Faulkner-Dimond and Jamie Razon, are returning for their third Schools Spectacular as a Featured Artist.


“Being part of the Schools Spectacular experience has built a comradeship with my fellow performers and the teachers who guide us,” Jamie said the bubbling 18-year-old stage dynamo, who is just finalising her Higher School Certificate exams.


Performing in front of such a huge audience and the atmosphere keep bringing Year 8 student, Liam Faulkner-Dimond back to the Qantas Credit Union Arena.


“It’s exhilarating,” Liam said.


“I love working with everyone to do the show.”


For Schools Spectacular debutante, Alexandra Riordan the biggest thrill will be performing an original song, while fellow first-timers Madison Lee and Elise Fairley describe it as a dream come true.


After devoting half their holidays to a Featured Artists Call and intense workshops and rehearsals in Sydney, they are now polishing their pieces in readiness for the first massed rehearsal at the Qantas Credit Union Arena next Thursday (29 October) and regular weekend sessions in the lead-up to performance week.


Since its beginnings as an acoustic test event for the just-built Entertainment Centre, the Schools Spectacular has evolved into a performance extravaganza like no other through its sheer size, scale and scope.


Each year it defies imagination as it brings together thousands of talented public schools students of diverse ages, cultures, skills and socioeconomic backgrounds from across metropolitan and regional NSW for a colourful kaleidoscope of music and dance.


This year’s performers will have the special honour of ‘bookending’ the original Schools Spectacular by being one of the final productions at the Entertainment Centre.


The final show in the (now) Qantas Credit Union Arena will have the theme is This is Our World.


Through music and dance it will capture the hopes and dreams of young people, exploring their place in the world, enjoying their cultures and experiencing their drive as leaders of the future.


Tickets are already on sale through for the four afternoon and evening performances on Friday and Saturday, 27 and 28 November.


Audiences will be treated to an outstanding show featuring 3,600 students from more than 400 NSW public schools: a 1,500-voice choir; 80-piece symphony orchestra; 2,000 dancers; plus rock, jazz, brass and marching bands. 


It will showcase the brilliance of the most talented singers, dancers and musicians from public schools complemented by state-of-the-art sound, lighting and staging.


More information about the Schools Spectacular is available on the website (, Facebook ( and Twitter (@SchoolsSpec).


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