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Spotlight Applications Open on Thursday, June 8, 2023! 
The Application Deadline is October 16, 2023

Submit an Interest Form to stay informed for 2023-24. 


Contemporary Instrumental Music

The new Contemporary Instrumental Music category replaces the Jazz Instrumental category.  Jazz Instrumental will become one of its two subcategories; Popular & Rock Music will be the second subcategory. See CIM program rules for more information.

Acting applicants will be allowed to audition with a monologue or a 2-person scene that comes from published plays, movies, or television.  No original material is allowed.  The majority of the dialogue must be spoken by the applicant, not the scene partner. Only the applicant will be judged.  The video for the Preliminary 1 round should be focused on the person auditioning.  

Classical Instrumental
Applicants may now apply to this category with two instruments – separate applications are required.


Thank you for your interest in applying to Spotlight! The Spotlight competition provides cash scholarships and artistic development to empower high school students by emphasizing preparation, courage, critical thinking and perseverance while providing an invaluable opportunity for students to hone their performing skills! Southern California High School students of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply for FREE. $100,000 in cash scholarships are awarded each year to students along with personalized feedback, eligibility for mastery classes with world renowned artists, and more! We are part competition, part education and always fun! It's easy to apply; fill out an application and upload a video! Take a chance on yourself! Check out The Spotlight Academy for info on the program and categories!

Spotlight Merit, Semifinalist and Honorable Mention awardees from 2023 will automatically bypass Preliminary 1 and advance to Preliminary 2 auditions. You still must fill out a new Spotlight application and upload the 2024 Placeholder Video that will be sent to you. 

During the registration process, please use student's name and not a parent's/guardian's.

To Apply, You Must:

  • Be a Southern California high school student who attends a public, private, online, or home school. Your home base must be in one of these counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Riverside, Kern, or San Bernardino.
  • You must be an enrolled high school student as of December 31, 2023.  You may not be enrolled as a full time college student.
  • Dance and Ballet students, please check the category rules page for out of state residency exceptions.
  • Apply to one or more of these categories: Acting, Ballet, Dance, Classical Voice, Non-Classical Voice, Classical Instrumental, or Contemporary Instrumental. You can apply to as many categories as you want!
  • Read all the important information listed in the application, even though it’s the last thing you want to do. ☺ Think of it as a way to get ready for your college and competition auditions!!
  • Complete the online application by October 16, 2023. Don’t wait until the last minute!
  • Prepare and upload your audition video. Check out our video on filming a great audition!  

By applying to Spotlight you are eligible for*

  • Written feedback from our distinguished panel of judges
  • Mastery classes with world-renowned artists
  • Live audition experience and coaching
  • Grand Prize Finale performance
  • College and career preparation
  • Cash awards
  • School achievement recognition
  • News and social media coverage possibilities

*Given circumstances around COVID-19, program rules, elements and benefits are subject to change.

COVID 19 REQUIREMENT: The first round (Preliminary 1) of Spotlight is online. All students who advance to subsequent rounds, including Preliminary 2, Semifinals and Grand Prize Finals must be fully vaccinated.

If you have questions or want to be added to our mailing list, email us: To find out more about Spotlight, please visit our main website here.  

Learn about the program, categories, and career guidance, directly from Jeri Gaile, the Music Center's Spotlight Director,  by checking out these fun videos in The Spotlight Academy 

If you have any technical issues please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.