The Spotlight Awards 2014

The Music Center Spotlight Awards 2014 Finalists

The Spotlight Awards.  How can we possibly sum it up?  John Lithgow, the host of this year’s finalist performance, probably said it better than anyone –

“Watching these young people perform on stage restores my spirit.”

The feeling was mutual.

Each year The Music Center welcomes thousands of high school students to participate in our Spotlight program, which culminates with a final performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  These bright and talented students audition in categories of ballet, non-classical dance, jazz instrumental, classical instrumental, non-classical voice, classical voice, two-dimensional art and photography.  Everyone that auditions gets valuable written feedback from the judges for their discipline.

The process is more of a workshop, than a competition, offering students a chance to learn about the business of  having careers in the arts and hone their auditioning skills.  The judges then work to select a group of semi-finalists in each category, who participate in master classes with some of the best artists in their field.  Finally, after another round of auditions, two finalists are chosen in each category and, as you can imagine, they are all extremely talented young people!

This past Saturday marked the 26th Annual Spotlight Awards and it was just as inspiring and thrilling as ever!  The performance was free and open to the public, and anyone who was lucky enough to grab a seat in the packed house was treated to an extraordinary display of talent and promise.  Plus, it was clear to see that all the finalists were having the time of their lives on that stage!

Spotlight Awards Finalist Madeline Woo Spotlight Awards Finalist Ryan Roberts Spotlight Awards Finalist Nicole IshimaruSpotlight Awards Finalist Jamael Dean Spotlight Awards Finalist Erick Chong

The Spotlight Awards is just one of many programs The Music Center fosters to help bring the arts to young people everywhere, with the goal of not only helping talented students become successful artists, but  also successful people.  Many former Music Center Spotlight Awards finalists have gone on to have incredibly successful careers on and off the stage, but regardless of where their careers take them, they always have a special home at The Music Center as a Spotlight Alum.

Spotlight Awards Grant Grayson Bower Spotlight Awards Finalist Brett Schaffer Spotlight Awards Finalist Bella Porter Spotlight Awards Finalist Abbigail Roque Spotlight Awards Finalist Aaron Shaw Spotlight Awards Finalist Nora ClementeSpotlight Awards Finalist Amanda Anderson

2014 Finalists:

Grant Grayson Bower – Non Classical Voice Grand Prize Winner

Bella Porter – Non Classical Voice Runner Up

Ryan Roberts – Classical Instrumental Grand Prize Winner

Erick Chong – Classical Instrumental Runner Up

Nicole Ishimaru – Non-classical Dance Grand Prize Winner

Abbigail Roque – Non-classical Dance Runner Up

Aaron Shaw – Jazz Instrumental Grand Prize Winner

Jamael Dean – Jazz Instrumental Runner Up

Madeline Woo – Ballet Grand Prize Finalist

Nora Clemente – Ballet Runner Up

Brett Schaffer – Classical Voice Grand Prize Winner

Amanda Anderson – Classical Voice Runner Up

Dayeon Han – Two-Dimensional Art Grand Prize Winner

Steve Sung Eun Kim – Two-Dimensional Art Runner Up

Angela Francis – Photography Grand Prize Winner

Sophia Arriola-Gibson – Photography Runner Up


All Photos by Paul Antico