SIT Music And Audio Schools Celebrate Busy NZ Music Month

Published: Tue 28 May 2024 05:41 PM
New Zealand Music Month (May 1st - 31st) sees SIT | Te Pūkenga Music and Audio students at their creative best, with a calendar full of events giving them performance opportunities and the chance to create lifelong memories.
The Year 3 Contemporary Music degree students are about to embark on the SIT SOUNZ annual South Island Tour, where they will perform in Queenstown, Arrowtown, and Twizel, culminating in Oamaru at the Steampunk NZ Festival 2024.
SIT SOUNZ 2024 are: Ryder Howell (guitar), Stephen James (drums and vocals), Salomé Brinkman (vocals), Lachlan Hickford (bass), Christian de la Cruz (keyboard/piano).
Programme Manager, Antonio Mercuri, says the group have been working very hard for the tour, putting in the hours of practice to learn an array of covers from differing contemporary music genres. “They have to learn roughly 40 songs, they need to have enough material to cover three to four hours, minimum.” The students are presented with the realities of what they have to achieve he explained. “These are big life lessons, this tour and the Kids’ Concerts.” It is part of the uniqueness of what SIT Music gives to their students. “We offer an experience like this and incorporate it into their study,” he said.
The group play to a mix of audiences; students have the opportunity to present their music in busy tourist hubs, as well as rural and provincial venues. Arrowtown is a first-time venue this year, but they’ve been back to the same venue three years running in Twizel. “They love us,” Mr Mercuri said. The biggest night is the Sunday night at the Steampunk festival. “There’s a real vibe; the venue itself is a hub for culture in Oamaru,” he added.
The tour goals are for students to showcase their talents, network with other musicians and talent scouts, and experience a touring musician’s lifestyle. In the process, they’ll also gain new ideas to inspire their own creativity.
Stephen James (Drums and vocals) described the tour as “massive”. It was the biggest event they work towards. “It’s basically our full first semester.”
Ryder Howell (guitarist) said “we all practise a lot - there’s many hours put in .”
Salomé Brinkman (vocals) is excited about performing to different audiences. “I love performing,” she said, adding she also valued the chance to get out and see some of the places they were touring; originally from the Netherlands, she’s still getting to know New Zealand.
Christian de la Cruz (keyboard/piano) thought possibly the biggest challenge for him will be finding some recharge time away from people. “Being around crowds” and travelling in a van with five other people might make it difficult, he said, as he liked his alone time.
The students start their tour on 30th of May and will return to Invercargill on 3rd of June.
The Yonder Bar, Queenstown – Thursday 30th May
The Fork and Tap, Arrowtown – Friday 31st May
Razza Bar, Twizel - Saturday 1st June
Steampunk NZ Festival 2024, Oamaru – Sunday 2nd June

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