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Two Local Students Named Semifinalists In Music Center’s Annual Spotlight Program

Hannah Kanter is a semifinalist in the Non-classical voice category.

Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 – 1:13 PM

Two local  students are among the 113 students named as semifinalists in The Music Center’s 30th annual Spotlight program, a free nationally known scholarship and arts training program for teens.

Hannah Kanter of Beverly Hills, a senior at Winwood School, was named a semi-finalist in the Non-Classical Voice category; while Beverly Hills High School student Kate Froemmling of Long Beach, was named in Acting category.

Spotlight has touched the lives of more than 45,000 students across Southern California since its launch in 1988. Part of The Music Center’s fundamental support for arts education, Spotlight provides opportunities for high-school students to acquire the skills they need to pursue their dreams in the performing arts, ranging from the development of performance abilities in numerous genres, to roles in arts management, along with college preparedness and workforce readiness skills.

The Music Center named semifinalists in seven categories—acting, ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental and jazz instrumental.

“The program exemplifies our commitment to ensuring students of all levels have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Each year, we look forward to advancing the journey of these talented young people as they participate in the Spotlight program, where they explore their craft, refine their skills and discover their full potential,” said Rachel Moore, The Music Center’s president/CEO. “No matter a student’s artistic dream, we want to empower each one to thrive on and off the stage.”

“As a pathway to both artistic and personal growth, Spotlight encourages students to strive for their personal best,” said Jeri Gaile, director of the Spotlight program. “Students who participate have access to personalized training and mentorship opportunities that instill self-confidence, elevate self-esteem and prepare them to excel in life, no matter their future pursuits.”

Approximately 1,450 participants auditioned this year, with students representing more than 300 schools, 200 cities and seven counties.

Semifinalists have the opportunity to attend a special master class in their genre with artists who share their expertise on performance technique, training and professional life and give feedback. Each semifinalist will audition again before a new panel of judges, who will then select the top two finalist performers in each category for a total of 14 Grand Prize Finalists. Judges will also name an Honorable Mention in each category. The Grand Prize Finalists will perform at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Spotlight Grand Finale Performance on June 5.

The program awards more than $100,000 in cash scholarships annually. Both Grand Prize Finalists in each category receive $5,000 scholarships, with one Honorable Mention in each category receiving $1,000. Semifinalists each receive $300. The Music Center also celebrates five students in each category with the Merit Award, which acknowledges students who inspire the judges by their commitment and dedication to their art form. Spotlight Merit Award recipients each receive $100.

Numerous Spotlight participants have gone on to successful professional careers. Twenty finalists are Presidential Scholars, and many more have joined or performed with professional companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among others. They include Misty Copeland, who made history in the dance world as the first African American principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre; Adam Lambert and Josh Groban, pop recording artists; Erin Mackey, star of Broadway’s Wicked, Sondheim on Sondheim, Anything Goes, Chaplin and Amazing Grace; Yao Guan Zhai, associate principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony; Gerald Clayton, Grammy-winning jazz recording artist, and more.

Frederic M. Roberts is founding chairman of The Music Center’s Spotlight program. The late Walter Grauman was the creator.

For more information about The Music Center’s Spotlight program, visit

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