Stand Up Stand Out 2020 re-shaped to keep the dream alive

Black White and Brindle, a band from Sacred Heart College performing at the SUSO 2019 Finals. Photo supplied

Stand Up Stand Out (SUSO) has moved quickly to re-shape its format, aiming to help keep the music dream alive for the city’s young music talent.

With a second round of Alert Level 3 restrictions put in place in Auckland [which ended at midnight Sunday], it became clear that the five SUSO audition hubs and the final showcase, from a logistics, health and safety perspective, could no longer go ahead.

The future of the popular annual music platform for schools looked doubtful.

But with some quick footwork by Auckland Council last week, supported by the city’s ongoing commitment to music as a UNESCO City of Music, the programme has been re-shaped in three ways.

Instead of physical auditions, those schools who have already applied to be part of SUSO 2020 will be asked to send video submissions online for selectors to view remotely.

In addition, some students whose original compositions are considered by the selectors to be ‘outstanding’ will be invited to record their material at OMAC at some future date.

And the third element being offered as part of the re-shaped form of SUSO 2020 is live performance opportunities at Auckland Council events this summer.

Councillor Alf Filipaina, chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee says:

“We realised how many performance opportunities music students had lost this year and we knew there was only a small window of time before their exams.

“So, the team acted quickly to adapt SUSO so that it would still give our young people something to look forward to in this challenging school year.”

Auckland Council’s Gene Rivers says: “We are pleased to be able to tell our schools that this new SUSO format will see some students’ video submissions opening doors to performance opportunities at Auckland Council’s summer events like Music in Parks and the Auckland International Cultural Festival.

“It’s the energy of live performance that SUSO is all about,” he says.