Lowanna College student Kate Lietzau says it was "a dream come true" when she won last year's Kidz Rock Talent Contest – the fifth time she had auditioned for the grand final.
The former South Street Primary School student brought the house down with her rendition of Bruno Mars' Grenade - a choice which resonated well with the audience, the 13-year-old said.
This year marks the 30th year since the talent show was first formed, with school-aged students from as far as Boisdale, Briagolong, Maffra and Lakes Entrance expected to travel to Moe next month for the final leg.
"I learnt the song really quickly because I was practicing it every day. I was trying to chose a song and thought it sounded like a nice song so I just went with it," Kate said.
"People said they felt it because it was a really nice song. They said it touched them which made me really happy."
The Moe resident first auditioned in the show when she was in prep, but was turned away after organisers did not have the backing track for the song she was going to perform.
A year or two later she took to the stage with her sister, Jane, losing in the grand final after singing Let It Go from the soundtrack of Frozen.
In grade five Kate auditioned again, but missed out getting past the first round after singing Miley Cyrus' The Climb.
"So last year to get through to the grand final was really good – I was nervous watching the other acts and thought I wouldn't be good enough," Kate said.
"When I started singing I really got into it and it was a great experience.
"My advice to other kids would be to try your best and don't give up, no matter how hard you try and what you think. Even if you think you're not enough, just have a try and you'll have a chance."
Kidz Rock director Geoff Woods encouraged people to mark the date in their diary to see some of the "best musical talents in Gippsland".
"It's Moe's turn basically. Last year we had it at the Bairnsdale RSL and the year before was at Gippsland Grammar at Sale ... so it's giving a lot of opportunities for Gippsland kids," Mr Woods said.
"Come and barrack for your schools, support some local musos and have a great night out."