GUITAR STAR: Lismore High School student Taholo Renagi has been selected among 32 student performers from around the state for the Schools Spectacular Featured Artists Call.
GUITAR STAR: Lismore High School student Taholo Renagi has been selected among 32 student performers from around the state for the Schools Spectacular Featured Artists Call. Marc Stapelberg

Lismore High teen caps off school career with big Sydney gig

IT'S hard to know which is more nerve racking - sitting the HSC exams or performing on stage in front of thousands of people for the New South Wales Schools Spectacular.

By the end of this month Lismore High School student Taholo Renagi will have done both.

The 18-year-old was selected among 32 student perf-ormers from around the state for the Schools Spectacular Featured Artists Call and five days of rehearsals in Sydney.

It's the second year the Lismore High student has starred as a featured artist in the Schools Spectacular, having performed Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and a Spanish song last year.

"The Schools Spectacular was absolutely amazing," Taholo said.

"It was my first time in front of a crowd like that so it was a different atmosphere altogether.

"I was not expecting it and it was just magical being up there.

"It was like my whole life was flashing before me and everything I had worked for was paying off - I wouldn't change a thing."

A room was set up for the performers to study for their HSC exams in between the gruelling rehearsal schedule.

As well as performing Macklemore's Can't Hold Us, Taholo will be one of a group singing Come On Aussie.

"I'm pretty excited because obviously I'm from a different country," Taholo said.

"But I think that's good because ever since I've become an Australian citizen I've been trying to get into the culture and the spirit.

"I think this may be one of the ways to help me along."

Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Taholo thought his future was in his village.

"Opportunities like this don't happen at all (in PNG)," Taholo said.

"I thought 'I was sent here' and I was thankful to God that I have these opportunities to make something of myself."

The hard work will culminate in four performances at the Qantas Credit Union Arena (formerly the Sydney Ent-ertainment Centre).

They are set down for Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29.

Schools Spectacular

Where: Qantas Credit Union Arena (formerly Sydney Entertainment Centre) 35 Harbour St, Darling Harbour

When: November 28 at noon and 7.30pm, and November 29 at 1pm and 7.30pm

Prices: Adult: $40 to $70. Concession from $30 to $55. Family pass $110 to $195

Bookings: www.ticketek.com.au or phone 132 849

More information: www.schoolsspectacular.com.au



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