Concert to Stop Bullying Supports 'Upstanders'

Event encourages upstanders and open conversation about bullying

For anyone who has been on the wrong end of a joke, you know it doesn't feel good. It's bullying. It starts young, and continues into adulthood with a super strong surge in the tween and teen years. People are targeted because they’re different — too short or too tall, too fat or too thin, have curly hair or freckles, live in the wrong neighborhood, have skin the wrong color, practice the wrong religion, or love the wrong person. Bottom line: families are hurting, friends are bewildered, and too often young people, especially, are making life and death decisions because of bullying.

Last February and March, two transgendered teenagers in the Charlotte area ended their lives due to bullying. Stand Up. Sing Out. A Concert to STOP Bullyinghappening Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m., at Dale Halton Theatre on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College, is hoping to keep the conversation going about how to overcome bullying in our area. Event partners — Tyler Clementi Foundation, Time Out Youth, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Carolinas HealthCare System — hope the concert pushes community members to be UPSTANDERS, not bystanders, in the face of bullying, racism and other "-isms" that exist out there.

Artistic Director Kathryn Mahan has brought together a 120-voice volunteer choir, Sound About —Summer Singers For Good. Sound About concerts bring attention to worthy causes. The is event built around a beautiful song cycle called Tyler’s Suite…this is Tyler’s Suite and more in honor of Tyler Clementi. Tyler's Suite is an eight-piece choral movement that tells the story of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old college student who died by suicide after being cyberbullied by his college roommate for being gay. The project was brought together under the musical leadership of Stephen Schwartz (composer and lyricist of Broadway's Wicked and Pippin). Schwartz also composed one of the pieces. Other composers who contributed to Tyler's Suite are Lance Horne, John Bucchino, John Corigliano, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Craig Carnelia and Ann Hampton Calloway with librettist Pamela Stewart. Inspiring pop tunes and personal stories are also part of the program.

Concert leaders are assembling a resource guide that directs families, teens and educators to a network of support in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. In-kind sponsor Carolinas HealthCare System is providing support in many ways, including offering “Mental Health First Aid” training to those who attend the concert.

Tickets are $25, and proceeds benefit Tyler Clementi Foundation “Day 1 Campaign” and Time Out Youth's School Outreach Programs.