Blaxland High singers were finalists at the Australasian Choral Championships on Sunday.
The Senior Vocal Ensemble, which features 50 students from years 8-12, qualified after winning the Sydney Eisteddfod mixed choir U/19 section in May, up against 17 ensembles from private and public schools across NSW and Australia.
They were excited to perform with the best in Australasia, and thought the Namibian tribal song Morokeni would be their drawcard because it was unusual.
"It takes time to learn to pronounce the words," said Hannah Saad.
"Once you know the spirit, it comes," said Emma Davison. "It's about celebrating life and enjoying life. The dancing complements it."
The students studied some African dancing videos to pick up some simple moves to go with the song.
They also performed choral director David Leishman's rearrangement of Dragon's Rain, and For All We Know which has been performed by many artists over the years, including The Carpenters.
The ensemble rehearses every school day morning for about 20 minutes during roll call.
The students were nervous before the big showdown.
"Going against schools that have choral eisteddfod uniforms, better equipment than us and better resources is daunting. We don't have that here but we have the opportunity to represent public schools," said Bailey Wootton.
The ensemble is the current Bathurst, Penrith and Hawkesbury choral champion after winning all eisteddfod categories back to 2016.
They have also been selected to perform Morokeni at the 2019 PULSE Opera House concert on July 4. The concert showcases excellence in the performing arts within NSW public schools.