Future stars are shining brightly. More than 1000 secondary school students have come from far and wide, across Auckland, to compete in Auckland Council's 2019 Stand Up Stand Out (SUSO) youth music and dance competition.
Already, some extraordinarily talented singers, musicians, and dancers are owning the stage and impressing this year's judges Bella Kalolo, Cherie Mathieson, Joash Fahitua, and Diana Hu at the heats happening at OMAC in Otara during August.
Semi-finalists, who'll be competing on 19 and 20 August for a chance at the finals, include multiple competitors from talent hotspots: Birkenhead College, Papatoetoe High School, and Waitakere College.
Talent returning to compete in Stand Up Stand Out 2019 includes last year's solo vocal winner Silika Isaia from Papatoetoe High School, whose original song 'Mad Men' was hugely acclaimed last time round.
"Stand Up Stand Out represents what Auckland's young talent can do," says Event Director Gene Rivers.
"We've seen a number of Stand Up Stand Out performers go on to professional careers in the music industry," he adds.
The competition has been running for nearly 30 years and has become Auckland's premier music and dance competition for secondary school students.
Finalists will be announced on 21 August. They will go on to compete at the finals for a share of $6000 in prizes.
Stand Up Stand Out finals are on 14 September, 3pm-6.30pm at Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau. Entry is free for all ages.
See the OurAuckland event listing for more information.