Six local high school performers were named Spotlight Awards winners Tuesday night at the Music Center. The winners were named by a panel of judges after competing in a live show hosted by actor Gregory Harrison. At stake was $45,000 in scholarships.
Performing in fields ranging from jazz/modern dance to classical instrumental, 12 finalists, chosen from a field of 400, performed before an audience of 3,000 in the fourth annual Music Center Spotlight Awards, a competition for local high school performers.
Winners took home $5,000 in scholarships. Runners-up got $2,500.
Winners included 16-year-old Linda Martinez, a junior at California High School in Whittier, in the jazz instrumental category; Amy Janel Carter, 17, a senior of La Canada High School, for ballet; Adrienne Stiefel, 14, a freshman at Mission Viejo High School, in pop/musical theater vocal; Gregory Jefferson, 15, a freshman at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, in classical instrumental; Jeff Daurey, 17, a senior at Van Nuys High School, in jazz/modern dance; and Joshua Lee, 17, a senior at Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, in opera.
The young performers, accompanied by the Los Angeles Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, were judged by a panel of 17 professionals.
Judges included dancer Juliet Prowse, blues singer Joe Williams, Joffrey Ballet artistic director Gerald Arpino, choreographer Bella Lewitzky, singer John Raitt, lyricist Hal David and composer Bill Conti.
The Spotlight Awards program was conceived by director Walter Grauman to reward and encourage young talent in the performing arts.