AS THE Voice contestant John Lingard stood hiding in the rain tuning his ukulele, hundreds of unsuspecting Girton Grammar students carried on with their usual morning assembly.
The surprise performance was all organised.
Lingard, who has won hearts on The Voice, would perform his version of Vance Joy's Riptide to his self-confessed "number one fan" Bronte Flanagan, along with the entire junior school campus.
But Lingard could never have expected the rapturous applause - and Bronte's shocked face - that greeted him as he walked onto the school stage.
"Gosh," he said to the crowd.
"I'm starting to feel a little famous now".
Lingard, who has dreamed of becoming a musician since he was 16, returned home to Bendigo for the performance and said it was overwhelming to receive such support after being in the spotlight "for just fifteen minutes".
He said while he had performed to millions of people on TV, it was an honour to play for a group of appreciative children.
"Seriously this is pretty cool hiding out the back of the school and getting ready to surprise so many people," he said before the performance.
"It's definitely not as frightening as when I walked on for my live audition. This'll just be heaps of fun."
See John Lingard's special performance and backstage interview at www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au.
Full story - Weekender, Page 3.