The Music Center Spotlight Awards Programs

The Music Center is pleased to announce the Spotlight Awards Programs to U.S. permanent residents and international students who are studying in the U.S. Spotlight is a nationally-acclaimed scholarship and arts training program for high school students in the performing arts.Southern California High School students of all talent levels are encouraged to apply. The mission of the Music Center’s Spotlight program is to provide a supportive environment in which high school students can develop the skills needed to pursue their artistic dreams, with an emphasis on self-esteem, preparation, and perseverance.The Music Center’s Spotlight program awards over $100,000 in cash awards annually to grand prize finalists, semi-finalists, honorable mentions and selected preliminary participants.

The Music Center is one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the country, and the place to experience the most innovative and critically-acclaimed performing arts in the nation, creating a cultural hub that is central to L.A.’s status as “the creative capital” of the world. Standing at the center of LA arts and culture for close to 50 years, The Music Center is proud to be regarded as one of the world’s premier performing arts destinations


To eligible, the applicant must meet all the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be a Southern California high school student who attends a public, private, parochial, online or home school.
  • The applicant home base must be in one of these counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern, San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino
  • Ballet students need to check the category rules page for residency exceptions
  • The applicant can apply to one or more of these categories: Acting, Ballet, Non-Classical Dance, Classical Voice, Non-Classical Voice, Classical Instrumental or Jazz Instrumental
  • Previous grand prize finalists are not eligible
  • The applicant can apply to more than one category; however, you will only be allowed to advance to finals in one, determined by which category you advance to the finals first
  • The applicant must be available to attend final rehearsal and performance if advanced to Grand Finale Performance
  • Permanent residents and international students who are studying in the U.S. are also eligible to apply.

How to Apply:

In order to apply to Spotlight, you must complete an online application and submit a video audition through the given link:

There are seven categories for students to apply in: Acting, Non-Classical Voice, Classical Voice, Non-Classical Dance, Ballet, Jazz Instrumental and Classical Instrumental.

Supporting Documents:

  • Prepare and upload your audition video
  • Proof of study will be required from dance program.

Financial Aid and Award Money:

Fourteen Grand Prize Finalists are chosen, two from each category:

  • Grand Prize Finalists- $5,000 cash awards
  • Honorable Mentions – $1,000 cash awards
  • Semifinalists – $300 cash awards
  • Preliminary Prizes – $100 cash awards

By applying to Spotlight you are eligible for:

  • Participation in The Spotlight Academy
  • Written feedback from our distinguished panel of judges
  • Master class with world-renowned artist or artistic director
  • Live audition experience and performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Cash awards up to $5,000
  • Finalists in Classical Voice and Classical Instrumental are awarded scholarships to the Aspen Music Festival in 2019
  • A chance to bypass the preliminary round of YoungArts
  • Certificate of Achievement
  • Grand Prize Finalists’ high schools’ receive an award plaque

Application Deadline:

The Spotlight Awards application and uploaded a video for each category you want to apply to must be submitted by the October 16 deadline.

The Application Deadline is October 16, 2017, at 11:59 pm.  The Grand Finale Performance takes place on June 6, 2018, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Link for More Information:

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about the application, contact them by email to

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