Schools Spectacular

Taiko drumming ensemble

Applications for this category are now closed.

This ensemble is designed specifically to engage students through cultural drumming. The ensemble is open to individual students and school groups in Years 5 to 12 from NSW Public Schools.  This category is an excellent platform for developing and showcasing drumming talent to the rest of the state and Australia.

The Schools Spectacular production team may modify the categories or cast numbers depending on the number of applications received, and the creative direction or production requirements of the show. In the instance that any changes occur, schools will be notified.

Audition process

Schools and individual students involved in the taiko drumming category will be selected via the following process:

1. Record video audition

Schools and individual applicants are asked to present a short drumming excerpt that will allow the audition panel to assess student technique and performance quality in taiko drumming. Items should be no more than one minute in length. 

2. Upload the video and submit an application form telling us about your group/yourself.

  • Schools may nominate up to 16 students for their audition. Schools with high-quality music programs may nominate a maximum of 24 students. Only the number of students present in the video will be considered.
  • The entire group may not be selected. The exact number selected for the group will be notified upon acceptance.
  • School group audition videos need to be uploaded to YouTube and the video link submitted with the application form. For assistance with uploading your video, please refer to the How to upload a video to YouTube guide.

3. Confirmation email

Individual applicants will receive a confirmation email once the application has been submitted. The student's parent/carer and school principal will also receive an email asking them to endorse the application.

For school groups, the contact teacher will receive a confirmation email once the application has been submitted and the school principal will be notified to endorse the application.

4. Notification of results

All applicants will be notified of their results by Term 2, Week 9.

Key dates for taiko drumming

Date Time Details Venue
Mon 29 Jan   Applications open: groups and individuals  
Mon 8 Apr 5:00 pm Applications close  
Fri 21 June   Application results sent


TBC 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Item rehearsal 1 TBC
TBC 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Item rehearsal 2


Mon 4 Nov TBC First combined rehearsal

Qudos Bank Arena

TBC 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Item rehearsal 3 TBC
TBC 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Item rehearsal 4 TBC
Wed 27 Nov TBC Second combined rehearsal - day 1

Qudos Bank Arena

Thu 28 Nov TBC Second combined rehearsal - day 2
Dress rehearsal

Qudos Bank Arena

Fri 29 Nov 11:00 am and 7:00 pm Schools Spectacular performance

Qudos Bank Arena

Sat 30 Nov 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm Schools Spectacular performance

Qudos Bank Arena



The costume and prop fee will be $150 per student.

Costume and prop costs will be direct debited from the applicant's school. Students will need to pay the costume and prop fee directly to their school once they are notified of their acceptance into the production.

Audition tips

  • Make sure the balance between the soloist and the accompaniment (such as the backing track, piano and band) is correct. It is critical that the person auditioning can be clearly heard.
  • The panel recommends not using a concert video as your audition video.
  • Students should discuss and review their audition video with their school music teacher before submitting it.
  • Record the audition in a room with a neutral acoustic. The school hall or auditorium will often have too much echo to record a video. The school’s music classroom will normally have the best acoustic for recording your audition.
  • Performance presentation and ability to captivate and entertain an audience will be taken into account when evaluating auditionees.
For more audition tips, visit Top tips for auditioning.


  • Successful individual applicants will be placed into an ensemble and be under the supervision of the ensemble manager during rehearsals and performances. Parents/carers will need to support their child's transport to and from rehearsals.
  • All students at the Schools Spectacular must be supervised by a teacher at all times.
  • Schools must provide a supervising teacher for the following categories: combined dance, combined choir, specialist ensembles, Aboriginal dance ensemble, and D’Arts ensemble students.
  • Each group will require their own supervising teacher, even if they are from the same school.
  • Relief for supervising teachers is the responsibility of the school.
  • Teachers are encouraged to provide active supervision at all times and support the production team during rehearsals and show week.