They may be young, but their work is often stunningly good - and the best labours of HSC students will soon be appearing in annual displays.
Teens across the state have been learning they might be selected in showcases for dance, music, visual arts, design, industrial technology, writing and more.
Among them is Gunnedah girl Lauren Jessup-Little, who recently learnt she could be part of Encore, a concert of outstanding student performances and compositions.
It's the latest opportunity the Calrossy Anglican School student's euphonium has provided her.
And she only took it up because she was a tall kid good at a subject often linked with musical talent.
"When I was in year 2 [a teacher said], 'Any kids that are good at maths, you're going to try out for the band'," she said.
"I rocked up at the Gunnedah band hall and they said: 'Here's your instrument.' ... I was the tallest student and they thought I would have the lung capacity for it."
Since then, the 18-year-old has travelled in Australia and internationally to play with Gunnedah Shire Band; her talent even earned her a scholarship to Calrossy.
After her performance in the HSC practical exams last month, markers nominated her for Encore, to be held at City Recital Hall in Angel Place, Sydney in March.
It's not a guarantee - she still has to submit an online form and audition video - but she said she was thrilled.
"I actually didn't think I went that well ... I thought, 'Well, that was a dream that's gone," she said.
"I was aiming to do pretty well, and an Encore nomination was like ... 'If I can get that, I'd be happy.'"
Beauty of brass
Lauren said the euphonium had "always been a really good hobby for me".
"I just sort of take naturally to performance: I enjoy a spotlight and having the crowd focus on me ... being up on stage."
Lauren said she enjoyed the brass instrument's "tone qualities".
"It has such a large range, so you can do a lot of things on it," she said.
"I really enjoy the way it plays in Scottish music, because a lot of times Scottish music has been transposed for it, and it sounds beautiful."
The other HSC showcases include ARTEXPRESS for visual arts; Callback for dance; InTech for industrial technology; OnSTAGE for drama; Texstyle for textiles and design; and WordeXpress for English extension 2.