Surround Sound

Region: Rural North Rural South and West | Rural and remote schools
Years 7 to 12
Local arts program Public schools Music

Surround Sound is a band program for students from secondary schools in rural and remote areas. Bands must have between 3 and 16 members and may perform covers or originals in any contemporary music style.

All performers must be students enrolled at a NSW public school in Years 7 to 12. No teachers or tutors can perform as part of the band.

  • Applications will be held by video submission. 
  • Selected schools will receive a school-based workshop delivered by an industry mentor during Term 3
  • Bands and their teacher will be supported to travel and be accommodated in Sydney during Term 4 Week 7 at the Surround Sound camp where all bands come together to workshop their performances with mentors .
  • Each band will perform a 15-minute set twice at SpecFest outside of Schools Spectacular in Term 4 Week 7.

2024 dates

Applications will open on Monday 5 February 2024 and close on Friday 31 May 2024

How to apply

  • Prepare your video submission and upload it to an online platform, such as YouTube, Vimeo or Google Docs link.
  • Ensure the settings on your URL are set to allow the panel to view it.
  • Have each student complete and return a Surround Sound 2024 permission to publish form.
  • Complete your Surround Sound 2024 application form with the following information:
    • name of band/ensemble
    • a short band biography
    • name of audition piece (please also indicate if it is a cover or an original song).

Video submission

  • Bands are required to submit one song of up to 5 minutes.
  • The song can be a cover or an original.
  • The video should be filmed as one continuous live take from a single static camera with no camera movement (including zoom, pan or tilt) with live audio from the room taken into the camera.
  • A video taken with a smartphone or tablet, using the sound from the internal microphone of that device will be sufficient.
  • The quality of video and audio recordings will not be considered as part of the judging criteria.
  • Video filmed at a school or community event may be used as the round 1 submission if it meets the above requirements.

Selection criteria

In selection, workshop and performances, bands will be assessed on:

  • ensemble skills
  • technical proficiency
  • musicality
  • performance skills.


Simon Kermode
Student Access and Engagement Advisor
0448 529 847