Last month we told you about this talented group of semi-finalists in The Music Center’s 33rd Annual Spotlight, a free nationally acclaimed arts training and scholarship program for Southern California teens. Now The Music Center has announced the 14 Grand Prize finalists from nearly 1,500 applicants.
The Grand Prize winners include two finalists in each of seven categories: acting, ballet, dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental and jazz instrumental. Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship and perform in the grand finale event. Spotlight alum Josh Groban will host the hour-long finale performance, which premieres on May 22 at 7 p.m. on musiccenter.org and Facebook Live. The virtual Grand Finale event will feature a group number and showcase each talented teen with their individual performances and an inside look at their Spotlight experience.
“Spotlight is a tight knit family and community where the adults support the participants, and the kids themselves root and pull for each other. Performing in front of others and being critiqued, especially by highly recognized experts, is not an easy thing to do, but wecreate a nurturing and empowering environment for kids to believe in themselves, because we believe in them,” said Jeri Gaile, director of The Music Center’s Spotlight program. “Josh Groban made a special appearance in last year’s virtual Grand Finale performance, and we’re thrilled to have him host the show this year. We know it means a lot to the kids to see Spotlight alumni come back to support the program, and he sets the perfect example that dreams really can come true.”
The Music Center also named an Honorable Mention in each category, awarding each student with a $1,000 scholarship. The Music Center’s Spotlight program awards more than $100,000 in cash scholarships annually.
Spotlight participants receive valuable performance opportunities, audition experiences, and valuable feedback from professional artists and arts administrators. Students also develop valuable life skills, like building self-esteem, preparation, and perseverance. All Spotlight applicants receive written feedback to help students improve and grow in their particular performance discipline.