Illawarra students rehearse for Southern Stars: photos

When the curtain rises on this year’s Southern Stars performance, Amelia Phelps will have big shoes to fill.

Come August 29, the Albion Park teen will recite part of the speech to the United Nations made by Taliban shooting victim Malala Yousafzai.

The act is a poignant reflection on this year’s Southern Stars theme, We Believe, and will form just one of the show’s various dance, vocal, circus and theatrical performances.

‘‘I think the messages in this year’s performance are really positive,’’ the five-year Southern Stars veteran said.

‘‘The Malala piece is all about standing up for the right to education...I’m also in another piece, Brave, which is about standing up for your rights against bullying.’’

Amelia was one of more than 2000 students who assembled on the floor of WIN Entertainment Centre for rehearsal on Tuesday, in a mass of bobbing heads and waving arms.

By  her side was Wombarra teen James MacAlpine, who will introduce the show and  then perform in several  acts.

The Wollongong High School of Performing Arts student said he was nervous but  looking forward to the exhilaration of being centre stage. 

‘‘It’s very nerve-racking but it’s really exciting at the same time,’’ he said.

The show will feature rock, pop, classical and Motown acts, including music by Taylor Swift, Michael Buble  and Michael Jackson.

Executive producer Barney Ellevsen said the talent on display would rival that of popular reality TV shows.

‘‘When you come here,  you are seeing a professional show with thousands of performers on the floor and a 40-piece orchestra – you’ll really be getting your money’s worth,’’ Mr Ellevsen said.

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