Music Center Names Verdugo Academy Musician as ‘Spotlight’ Finalist

Anoush Pogossian

Anoush Pogossian, a senior and clarinet player at Glendale’s Verdugo Academy, was selected as one of the 14 most talented high school students across Southern California and will be among The Music Center’s “Spotlight” Grand Prize Finalists.
In addition to appearing in the virtual Spotlight Grand Finale show, Pogossian will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
This fall, she will attend an exchange program between Columbia University and the Juilliard School, which will allow her to pursue an academic track and a music conservatory.
“While I plan on playing the clarinet and pursuing some form of music in the future, I still feel like I have a lot to learn and am also really interested in studying how music fits into other areas, such as neuroscience and history,” Pogossian said, noting that she’s still unsure of what a professional path may hold for her, but adding that the Music Center’s Spotlight program has helped her learn and grow.
This is Pogossian’s third year participating in the Spotlight program.
“This journey has been unique in the sense that Spotlight is not just a competition, but also an opportunity for learning and improvement,” she said. “After each round — after every single piece the judges have heard me perform — I’ve gotten notes on my playing and received encouragement from the program … It’s also a way to assess one’s progress.”
The Music Center, one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States and based in DTLA, annually names finalists as the culmination of the nationally recognized year-long arts training and scholarship program. The center has selected two finalists in each of the seven categories: acting, ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental and jazz instrumental.
“The organization’s first-ever virtual Spotlight finale celebrates the talent and perseverance of Southern California’s most talented teens as they complete their year-long Spotlight journey,” the center said in a statement.
The Music Center President/CEO Rachel Moore also noted: “We made the commitment to continue this program even under unprecedented circumstances and to honor these talented students with a global stage that celebrates their incredible artistry and dedication. We’re committed to nurturing the creativity of young talent, and Spotlight, with its focus on world-class arts training, scholarships and college and career guidance, is an important part of that effort.”
The event features Tony Award winner and Spotlight alumnae Lindsay Mendez as this year’s host, along with performances by each Grand Prize finalist, an inside look at each finalist’s Spotlight experience and messages from notable Spotlight alumnae including Matthew Rushing and Melinda Sullivan.
The show may be seen on May 30 at 7 p.m. through the Music Center’s website at musiccenter.org/spotlightfinale.

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