Southern California high school students interested in the performing arts can now apply to be a part of The Music Center’s annual scholarship and arts training program designed to help teens explore their professional goals and increase their confidence.

Spotlight offers arts experiences, mentorship and workforce development skills taught by professional artists and arts administrators, and awards more than $100,000 in scholarships each year.

The free program gives students of all skill levels “an opportunity to receive valuable audition experience and knowledge in their performance disciplines through mastery classes and performance. Through a supportive environment, students develop important life skills, including building self-esteem, preparation and perseverance,” according to a statement released by The Music Center.

Students must submit a video audition online — the deadline for submission is Oct. 16 — and may apply to multiple categories for free. All applicants receive written feedback from a panel of judges and a certificate of achievement.

Students can submit an online video in one or more of the following categories: acting, ballet, classical instrumental, classical voice, dance, jazz instrumental and non-classical voice.

Students advancing to the next step audition “live” through a virtual audition process and receive personalized feedback from a panel of industry experts and a certificate of achievement. Spotlight merit, semifinalists and honorable mentions from the previous year advance automatically to the Preliminary 2 live auditions.

Sixteen semifinalists in each category will participate in a mastery class to gain feedback before their semifinal audition. Two grand prize finalists and an honorable mention in each category are announced after the semifinal auditions.

Spotlight will conclude with a Grand Finale evening performance, with the date and details to be announced.

According to Music Center officials, Spotlight alumni “are performing with the world’s best dance companies, top orchestras and leading jazz clubs; singing in the leading opera houses; and starring on Broadway. They are also major executives working behind-the-scenes in arts schools, institutions and businesses.”

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