Wednesday, April 28, 2010









Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CONTACT: Leticia Rhi Buckley






Los Angeles – The Music Center of Los Angeles County celebrated 12 talented performing artists and 4 visual artists at the 22nd annual Music Center Spotlight Awards on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre. The sold-out event, hosted by musician Dave Koz, began with a gala dinner that raised funds to support the nationally acclaimed arts education and recognition program.

The Grand Prize Finalists (1st place and runner-up) in each category received $5,000 and $4,000 scholarships.  Honorable Mentions received $250 scholarships and Semifinalists received $100 scholarships.  Students were selected from among more than 2,300 Southern California applicants. 1,178 applicants auditioned in performing arts and 1,137 submitted artwork in visual arts.

All finalists were given the unique learning opportunity to meet and work with renowned artists and arts professionals who provided them with in-depth insight on technique, training, and professional life. This is a highlight of the Spotlight program and helps the participating students better prepare for future opportunities in the arts.

            Scott Myrick, a senior at Esperanza High School, received first place in the non-classical dance category and runner-up was Justin Duke, a senior at Susan H. Nelson High School in Temecula. Natalie Krakirian, a junior at Options for Youth Charter Schools, received first place in the ballet category and the runner-up was Emily Entingh, a sophomore at San Clemente High School.

            First place in the classical instrumental category was awarded to Tim Callobre, a junior at Polytechnic School, and Eleanor Dunbar, a sophomore at Gorman Learning Center was the runner-up. In the jazz instrumental category, Chase Morrin, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego received first place.  The runner-up was Andrew Freedman, a senior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA).

            First place in the non-classical voice category went to Kyle Selig, a senior at Huntington Beach High School and the Academy for the Performing Arts, while Rachel Eskenazi-Gold, a junior at Crossroads School was runner-up.   In the classical voice category Johnathan Ryan McCullough, a senior at Norte Dame High School received first place and Emily Ruth Dyer, a senior at Valley Christian High School was runner-up.

            In the two-dimensional art category Jennifer Chen-Su Huang, a senior at Orange County High School of the Arts received first place and Alexis Sinchongco, junior at Orange County High School for the Arts was runner-up.  In the photography category Benito Rojas, a junior at Central Los Angeles High School #9 received first place and Brenna Collins, senior at John Burroughs High School was runner-up.

Grand Prize Finalists were chosen by a group of acclaimed judges that included (Non-Classical Dance) Carrie Ann Inaba, Nigel Lythgoe, Julie McDonald; (Classical Voice) Gary Glaze, Suzanna Guzmán, Gualtiero Negrini; (Jazz Instrumental) David Benoit, Kevin Eubanks, Alphonso Johnson; (Ballet) Starr Danias, Jean-Yves Esquerre, Adam Sklute; (Non Classical Voice) Mac Davis, DeLee Lively, Charlayne Woodward; (Classical Instrumental) Lucinda Carver, Martin Chalifour, James Smith; (Two-Dimensional Art) Marcela Ewertz, Phung Huynh, Haven Lin-Kirk, Gayler Garner Roski, Patssi Valdez, and J. Michael Walker;  (Photography), Dennis Keeley, Douglas Kirkland, Betty Lee, Genaro Molina, Britt Salvesen and David Scharf.

            Fredric M. Roberts is founding chairman of the Music Center Spotlight Awards and Walter Grauman is creator/executive producer.

            Special thanks to Bank of America and Helen and Peter Bing for their generous support of the Music Center Spotlight Awards.  For more information about the Music Center Spotlight Awards program, call 213-972-3300 or visit

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One of the nation’s most acclaimed performing and visual arts education programs for teens, the Music Center Spotlight Awards offer 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.





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