Wimmera entertainers take on California

A TROUPE of 26 Wimmera entertainers will travel to California on Saturday.

Students of Linda Grigg’s St Arnaud District Dance Studio will perform in and around Los Angeles, including Disneyland California.

Singer and dancer Eleanor Parry, 17, said she was thrilled by the opportunity.

“It’s starting to hit me now, it’s getting very exciting,” she said.

She will be singing in all four of the group’s American performances.

Already a seasoned performer, Eleanor is also a backing vocalist in this year’s Victorian State Schools Spectacular.

The St Arnaud Secondary College student is among 3500 public school students from throughout the state performing in the arts showcase, but one of few from regional Victoria.

The spectacular is scheduled for September 13 at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena.

It will also be broadcast statewide.

Every weekend for the past month, Eleanor’s parents have driven her to and from Melbourne for rehearsals.

“It has taught me a lot about harmonising and working with other people,” she said.

“As a backing vocalist, you have to know your timing, and you have to know the songs back-to-front and basically be able to sing a note out of thin air.”

More than anything, she said she was having fun.

“Everyone is really nice and fun to work with,” she said.

Eleanor was also a backing vocalist in last year’s spectacular.

She started singing lessons with St Arnaud vocal instructor Tracey Blatchford three years ago, and has been dancing with the St Arnaud District Dance Studio for six years.

Her mother Lindee said St Arnaud was fortunate to have such a high calibre of performing arts instructors in the community, who were dedicated to fostering the talents of their students.

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