Top youth talent to shine in town hall for the first time

Last Updated : 20 Sep 2022
Top youth talent to shine in town hall for the first time 1
A rangatahi performer from the 2022 SUSO semifinals.
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Kristin School's Grace Allis performing in the 2022 SUSO semi-finals.
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James Cook High School's M1 performing in the 2022 SUSO semi-finals.

Auckland’s best young talent will compete for top honours in the Auckland Town Hall for the first time ever. The final 26 emerged after the semifinals of Auckland Council’s Stand Up Stand Out (SUSO) talent competition took place over last weekend.

Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee says SUSO continues to showcase the incredible young talent from Tāmaki Makaurau.

“A huge congratulations to this year’s finalists. To make it to the final is an incredible achievement with the talent on show once again being such a high standard.”

Aroha Te Kanawa, Auckland Council’s Manager of Creative Programming agrees, saying it has been a challenging time for the judges.

“Deciding on who would go to the final has been the toughest decision our judges had to make. It really bodes well for the ongoing health of the creative industry here in Tāmaki Makaurau.”

To get to the final, participants had to battle with more than 1,000 students from 33 schools. Students competed in five categories dance; solo instrumental; group vocal; solo vocal; and bands.

Having the SUSO final held in the Auckland Town Hall for the first time highlights the importance of the competition to Auckland Council.

“The town hall is one of the most prestigious venues in Tāmaki Makaurau. It is a fantastic, awe-inspiring hall and performing there will excite and thrill the finalists. As a venue it draws the best out of performers and it will help make the final an incredible must-see event,” says Councillor Filipaina.

Aroha notes the schools represented in the final are from all over the region.

“SUSO always draws out incredible talent from across the rohe (region) and this year has been no different. From James Cook High School in the south to Long Bay College in the north, the finalists represent various parts of Tāmaki Makaurau.”

It is the first time in three years that the final will be happening in-person, but the audience will be limited to schools and whānau.

SUSO was completely held online in 2020 and had to be cancelled last year as a result of COVID lockdowns.

Stand Up Stand Out is an Auckland Council initiative, in partnership with Auckland Live and Auckland UNESCO City of Music. This programme is an important development pathway to tertiary study and the music industry, through promoting songwriting and a culture of music as well as dance performance excellence within schools.

The SUSO final takes place on Saturday 24 September at the Auckland Town Hall from 3pm and will be open to the public. Tickets for the final will be available through Auckland Live.

The full list of Finalists for Stand Up Stand Out 2022:

Solo Vocal Finalists



Michael Percival

Long Bay College

Caylis Masinamua

Māngere College

Aaliyah Magalogo

Aorere College

Charles Lia

Manurewa High School

Rachel Kim

Rutherford College

Grace Allis

Kristin School

Band Finalists



Yellow Lines

Birkenhead College


Sancta Maria College

The Ave

Pacific Advance Secondary School


Avondale College


James Cook High School

Dance Finalists




Avondale College


Avondale College

Panapa and Sally

Southern Cross Campus College


Ōtāhuhu College


Alfriston College

Solo Insturmental Finalists



Andres Olan

Sacred Heart College

Andrey Smirnov

Takapuna Grammar School

Ryu Tanriosa

Birkenhead College

Crispin Manikkam

Birkenhead College

Destiny Tilialo

Papatoetoe High School

Group Vocal Finalists



Toka Tu Moana Choir

Tangaroa College

Ingrid and Jess

Pakuranga College

Freedom Fours

Papatoetoe High School


Manurewa High School


Māngere College

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