FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 4, 2009
Leticia Rhi Buckley
MUSIC CENTER SPOTLIGHT AWARDS HONOR AMAZING YOUNG ARTISTS ON STAGE AT DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION
Los Angeles – The Music Center of Los Angeles County celebrated 12 talented performing artists and 4 visual artists at the 21st annual Music Center Spotlight Awards on Saturday, May 2, 2009. The sold-out event, hosted by actor Tony Danza, began with a gala dinner that raised funds to support the nationally acclaimed arts education and recognition program. The high school student finalists in each category received cash scholarships, with $5,000 for first place and $4,000 for the runner-up. This year more than 2,330 students participated in the Spotlight program and over $100,000 was awarded to finalists, semi-finalists and participants who received honorable mentions.
Jordan Casanova, a junior at Ruben S. Ayala High School, received first place in the non-classical dance category and runner-up was Kevin Le, a junior at Bishop Montgomery High School. Hannah Schiller, a sophomore from Eagles Peak Charter School in Orange County, received first place in the ballet category and the runner-up was Karen Johnson, a junior at Lutheran High School of Orange County. First place in the classical instrumental category was pianist Tianpeng (Timmy) Yu, a sophomore at Idyllwild Arts Academy, and violinist Michelle Tseng, a senior at Orange County High School of the Arts was the runner-up. In the jazz instrumental category, drummer Sammy Miller, a senior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts received first place. The runner-up was bassist Joshua Crumbly, a senior at Quartz Hill High School. First place in the non-classical voice category was Alana Grossman, a junior at Newbury Park High School, while senior Erika Peterson from Dana Hills High School was runner-up. In the classical voice category Sean Plumb, a junior at Loyola High School of Los Angeles received first place and Samuel Chan, a sophomore at Idyllwild Arts Academy was runner-up.
In the two-dimensional art category Angie Samblotte, a senior at Mayfair High School received first place and Katie Worcester, a junior at Hueneme High School was runner-up. In the photography category senior Luke
Suzumoto at Agoura High School received first place and Colleen Loynachan, a junior at Marlborough School was runner-up.
The Music Center Spotlight Awards is one of the nation’s most acclaimed performing and visual arts education programs for teens. It offers distinctive learning opportunities in the arts for all participants and awards over $100,000 in scholarships annually to finalists, semi-finalists and participants who receive honorable mentions. The program has launched numerous professional careers—fifteen finalists are Presidential Scholars and many have joined or performed with professional companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Many alumni return to the program and participate as judges and master class instructors.
Fredric M. Roberts is founding chairman of the Music Center Spotlight Awards; Thomas Weinberger is chairman and Walter Grauman is creator/executive producer. The program is a project of the Fraternity of Friends, a volunteer membership organization of men who support the Music Center. Bank of America is the principal corporate sponsor of the Music Center Spotlight Awards; additional support is provided by a generous grant from Helen and Peter Bing, Principal Program Benefactors.
For more information about the Music Center Spotlight Awards program, call 213-972-3300 or visit musiccenter.org
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