The Los Angeles Music Center announced 108 semifinalists from Southern California high schools as part of its 27th annual “The Music Center Presents Spotlight Program” that included three Idyllwild Arts Academy students. More than 1,600 high school arts students in various disciplines auditioned for this prestigious program. Semifinalists were named in seven arts categories — acting, ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental and jazz instrumental.
Four area students, three from Idyllwild Arts Academy and one from Hemet High School, made the cut. Clara Stark, IAA 11th grade, is a semifinalist in ballet; Juan Posada, IAA 12th grade, non-classical dance; Ricardo Urbina Reyes, IAA 12th grade, non-classical dance; and Brady Sisk, HHS senior in jazz instrumental. The four are the only semifinalists from Riverside County.
Being named is both an honor and an opportunity for educational advancement in the students’ chosen professions. The Spotlight program is a free, nationally acclaimed scholarship and arts training program that offers semifinalists master classes with highly acclaimed professionals who share their expertise on performance technique, training and professional life. Students can also present their work for feedback and guidance.
As part of the program, all semifinalists will audition again before a new panel of judges who then select the top two in each category for a total of 14 grand-prize finalists. These 14 finalists perform publicly at the Walt Disney Concert Hall at The Music Center in the Spotlight Grand Finale Performance on March 31, 2015.
The Spotlight Program annually awards $100,000 in scholarships. Both grand-prize finalists in each of the seven categories receive $5,000 and one honorable mention in each category receives $1,000.
Last year, IAA senior Dayeon Han, 19, was one of two finalists in two-dimensional art. Dayeon also was named a semifinalist in 2013. The Music Center eliminated two-dimensional art and photography as categories for this year’s program, concentrating its focus and resources on the performing arts.
The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles is now celebrating its 50th year as a major artistic venue. With four theaters and four resident companies, the Center Theatre Group, the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera and the LA Philharmonic, The Music Center is nationally recognized for its artistic excellence.