Hard work begins for Jindabyne's Brad Cox

JINDABYNE Central Year 12 student, Brad Cox has been in Sydney for the Featured Artist Call and the beginning of six weeks intensive rehearsals for this year's 29th Schools Spectacular.

Brad joins 58 other featured artists chosen from more than 350 talented student performers who auditioned to be in the iconic show.

"This is already a fantastic achievement," Relieving Schools Spectacular Director, Sonja Benson told the Featured Artist Call.

"You don't know how great you can be. Over the next six weeks you will grow as an artist and as a person."

The Schools Spectacular will be staged at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24 with four performances to audiences of up to 10,000 and televised Australia-wide at times attracting over one million viewers.

An inspirational performing arts showcase - this year titled Our Time - the Schools Spectacular brings together the Featured Artists with a 1,300-voice choir, 180 musicians, 2,000 dancers and a marching band. It is a show like no other and gets better every year.

Ms Benson said there is nothing better for performers than knowing they have a "home team advantage" with family, friends and supporters from the local area cheering their performance. Good seats are now available through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 883 622).

Brad really did not want to be in Sydney.

"There's too much concrete and too many people," he said. "I hate it, but it's got to be done."

This will be Brad's first Schools Spectacular, but already a graduate of the Talent Development Project, the 17-year-old knows how the trek to the big smoke can polish him as a performer.

"I thought I'd give it a crack," Brad said.

It did not take long before Brad had his guitar out and was sitting on the bitumen of the playground the Arts Unit shares with a school jamming with up-and-coming international violinist Harry Ward and a half-a-dozen other featured artists from all over the state.

His relaxed country style was winning him plenty of friends.

When asked what he would get out of the Schools Spectacular, he replied: "mainly hanging out with the boys".

Brad will be featured in a country music style segment bringing together students from across regional and rural NSW.

While some that will be singing with him contemplate adjusting their music style, this could not be more on-track for Brad.

For the young man who performs regularly to the snow crowds and on the South Coast, and who featured in the TV show Young Talent Time, it could be just another gig.

After all, he is one of the ones they will be singing about in Boys from the Bush and the song "Life is a Highway" sums up his future plans.

"I've just bought a new truck and I'm going to set it up so I can live out of it," Brad said. "When it's finished I'll head west. I have no plans, I'll just head off."

No plans, but one dream.

"I hope to make a living out of music," Brad added.

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