The Music Center’s Spotlight was launched in 1988 as part of a “WinterFest” gala produced by Walter Grauman. Recognizing its long-term potential for arts training and advocacy, Spotlight Founding Chairman Fredric Roberts championed the cause. He developed the strategy and operating plan, and for many years raised the funds necessary to establish The Music Center’s Spotlight as the nationally recognized performing arts competition, scholarship and artistic development program it is today. Now celebrating its 30th Anniversary season, The Music Center’s Spotlight has awarded more than $2.2 million in scholarships and transformed the lives of more than 42,000 high school students.
Many Spotlight alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in the arts, performing with world-class opera companies, symphony orchestras, dance companies, and in theatre productions. Notable alumni include: Misty Copeland (Spotlight Ballet, 1997), Principal Dancer for American Ballet Theatre; Danielle de Niese (Spotlight Classical Voice, 1995), major international opera star; Adam Lambert (Spotlight, Non-classical voice, 2000), Grammy-nominated recording artist; Miles Mosley (Spotlight Jazz Instrumental, 1998), internationally-acclaimed jazz bassist and vocalist; Michelle Kim (Spotlight Classical Instrumental, 1990), Assistant Concertmaster with the New York Philharmonic; and Joshua Winograde (Spotlight Classical Voice, 1992), Senior Director, Artistic Programs of the LA Opera.