Announcing the 2018 Spotlight Semifinalists

We are overjoyed to announce the 2018 Semifinalists for The Music Center’s Spotlight program!

113 of Southern California’s most talented high school students have been named as semifinalists in The Music Center’s annual Spotlight program, a free nationally-acclaimed scholarship and arts training program for teens.

Approximately 1,450 participants auditioned for Spotlight during our 30th anniversary year, with students representing more than 300 schools, 200 cities and seven counties.

Click here for a complete list of the 2018 Spotlight Semi-finalists. 


About The Music Center’s Spotlight Program 


Now celebrating its 30th year, The Music Center’s Spotlight has transformed the lives of more than 45,000 students across Southern California since its launch in 1988. An important part of The Music Center’s fundamental support for arts education, Spotlight is more than a competition. The program provides opportunities for Southern California high school students to acquire the skills they need to pursue their dreams in the performing arts, ranging from the development of performance abilities in numerous genres to roles in arts management, along with valuable college preparedness and workforce readiness skills.

“For three decades, The Music Center’s Spotlight program has been a cornerstone of The Music Center’s arts education initiatives. The program exemplifies our commitment to ensuring students of all levels have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Each year, we look forward to advancing the journey of these talented young people as they participate in the Spotlight program, where they explore their craft, refine their skills and discover their full potential,” said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “No matter a student’s artistic dream, we want to empower each one to thrive on and off the stage.”

“As a pathway to both artistic and personal growth, Spotlight encourages students to strive for their personal best,” said Jeri Gaile, director of The Music Center’s Spotlight program. “Students who participate in Spotlight have access to personalized training and mentorship opportunities that instill self-confidence, elevate self-esteem and prepare them to excel in life, no matter their future pursuits.”


The Music Center’s Spotlight Semifinalists in Acting with Master Class Teacher and Associate Artistic Director of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Coy Middlebrook.

Master Classes 

Semifinalists receive a rare opportunity to attend a special master class in their genre with highly regarded artists, who share their expertise on performance technique, training and professional life. Students receive feedback on their performances, offering them a rich learning experience.

Grand Prize Finalists

Each semifinalist will audition again before a new panel of judges, who will then select the top two finalist performers in each category for a total of 14 Grand Prize Finalists. Judges will also name an Honorable Mention in each category. The Grand Prize Finalists will perform at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Spotlight Grand Finale Performance on June 5, 2018.


The Music Center’s Spotlight Non-Classical Dance Semifinalists with Master Class Teacher, Nico Greetham.



Cash Scholarships 

The Music Center’s Spotlight program awards more than $100,000 in cash scholarships annually. Both Grand Prize Finalists in each category receive $5,000 scholarships, with one Honorable Mention in each category receiving $1,000. Semifinalists each receive $300. The Music Center also celebrates five students in each category with the Merit Award, which acknowledges students who inspire the judges by their commitment and dedication to their art form. Spotlight Merit Award recipients each receive $100.

For more information about The Music Center’s Spotlight program, visit or join the 30th Anniversary celebration online using the hashtag #Spotlight30.