Success on Stage

Del Norte High School senior Justin Pham was named as a semifinalist in The Music Center’s
28th Annual Spotlight program. Over 1,100 participants auditioned for this year’s program, and Justin was one of only 111 to move forward. Justin performed in the non-classical dance category, along with 15 other young dancers, and later was named honorable mention at third place in his category. The six other categories are acting, ballet, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental, and jazz instrumental.

Spotlight is a nationally acclaimed scholarship and training program for teenaged performing artists. Semifinalists have the opportunity to attend master classes with elite artists who share technique, training, and feedback. After training, semifinalists perform again for a new panel of judges, who select the top two finalists in each category as well as the honorable mention. Justin received a $1,000 scholarship for his third place finish.

Past Spotlight participants include Misty Copeland, Adam Lambert, Josh Groban, Erin Mackey, Yao Guan Zhai, and Gerald Clayton. “With Spotlight, young people have the opportunity to see what it is like to take risks and learn how to prepare for the important transitions in life,” said Spotlight Director Jeri Gaile. “While students compete in this program, they are mostly competing with themselves as they build self-esteem and learn how to persevere to achieve their goals.”

Justin looks forward to continuing to pursue his goals in dance – he was recently accepted to the University of Southern California’s dance program, one of only 10 male dancers accepted this year.