Fifteen students from Moree Secondary College had the opportunity to take part in this year's Star Struck extravaganza in Newcastle.
Seven members of the school's choir and eight dancers from years seven to 11 were among more than 3500 students from the Hunter and Central Coast regions to hit the stage for Star Struck 2019 - No Limits, held at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on June 14 and 15.
It was the first time Moree Secondary College has been involved in the annual performing arts event, which showcases dance, drama and music performed by public school students from kindergarten to year 12.
Moree Secondary College was in fact the furthest school to participate in the extravaganza, and, as a result, the local students received plenty of attention.
"We were a bit of a novelty," Moree Secondary College choir teacher Leigh Carroll said.
"We were interviewed in a live video on the Star Struck Facebook page."
The Moree Secondary College choir and dance group auditioned to take part in this year's Star Struck in term one and were thrilled to find out they were successful.
They then spent months rehearsing their set pieces at school before travelling to Newcastle for a number of combined rehearsals.
On Tuesday, June 11, they travelled back to Newcastle for the main event, with a full rehearsal on Wednesday, a dress and technical rehearsal on Thursday and then two matinee and evening performances on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15.
The three-part choir was made up of 400 students, including Moree's Toby Lockrey, Zachery Williams, Kaylib Taunton, Jack Colless, Clair Abrahamsen, Shari Eggins and Reese Camello, who were on stage the whole time and, in addition to their own big solo, provided the backing for each of the solo performances.
"It was quite a big catalogue of music we had to learn," Mr Carroll said.
"It was in three parts, so it was all in harmony, which was beautiful."
Moree's three senior boys - Kaylib Taunton, Zac Williams and Toby Lockrey - were invited to be a part of the core choir, along with Mr Carroll, and each were individually miked.
"I even got to sing with them," Mr Carroll said.
"It was a great experience. Singing with a full orchestra was pretty amazing. I don't think they quite realised how big it is and the level of talent.
"They loved it."
Meanwhile the Moree dancers - Elka Devney, Alyssa Duncan, Madelyn Penfold, Ashlyn Tape, Lucy Carter, Millie Hobday, Iky Davis and Dusty Smith - were some of about 150 students from approximately 20 schools involved in the Higher and Higher number as part of the Love and Compassion segment, as well as the big group finale, which featured about 1500 students.
"As a dance teacher it brought me so much joy to see our students performing in a professional environment and continually bringing so much energy to the stage after back to back performances and long days (rehearsals at least 8am until 6.30pm and show days at least 9am until 10pm)," dance teacher Jessica Gatt said.
"They nailed every single performance and made me so proud. Every student had a smile on their face and was so proud to be representing Moree Secondary College."
Ms Gatt said it was an "amazing" opportunity for the students, who not only made friends but learnt a lot of new skills.
"They enjoyed themselves ... they made a lot of friends from other schools which was nice to see," she said.
"They've now extended their skills and learnt about acting performance on stage, the dedication it takes, the long hours, and performing back-to-back shows.
"It was really nice for Moree to show the Newcastle community and other schools out of our area that we do have talent out here."
"It's an experience that we certainly wouldn't get out here," Mr Carroll added.
"It was well worth the seven-hour drive."
Mr Carroll and Miss Gatt would like to thank South Moree Butchery for donating meat, Woolworths Moree for donating fresh food and water, and Moree Bakehouse for donating bread and bread rolls for the trip.
"This assisted the students and teachers immensely and we were greatly appreciative for the generous donations," Miss Gatt said.