While television talent competition shows, such as “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” draw massive audiences — a local event has those national programs beat in terms of staying power.
This will be the 37th year that Spotlight on Talent has invited young people with assorted talents to show off their skills at a regional competition.
Besides communities in east and central Pasco County, competitors come from such places as Brooksville, St. Petersburg, Tampa and West Pasco, according to a news release from the Heritage Arts Center Association, which puts on the annual contest.
Typically, hundreds compete for a chance to perform in the showcase. A wide range of acts compete, including vocalists, dancers, musicians and various entertainers that can include baton twirlers, bands, gymnasts and others.
Students — up through 12th grade — may compete individually, as part of a group, or both.
There are two age divisions, with younger contestants competing during the matinee performance and older ones competing at night.
This year’s deadline for applications is Jan. 23 and tryouts will take place on Jan. 27.
The final competitions are set for March 7, at noon and at 7 p.m., at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Road in Wesley Chapel.
Winners vie for bragging rights, trophies and $4,000 in cash prizes.
Awards are presented in numerous categories, and the senior scoring the highest number of points receives a $1,000 scholarship.
The competition aims to encourage aspiring performers, according to the news release.
Many former competitors have gone on to receive college scholarships and be selected for positions with performance organizations.
Just a couple of years ago, Zach D’Onofrio, gained notoriety when he competed in 2018 on “American Idol.” Last year, he won the $1,000 Pasco Heritage Scholarship by receiving the highest score in the Spotlight competition.
Typically, hundreds of people attend each show, giving contestants a chance to experience what it feels like to deliver a live performance.
It’s a tough competition, too.
Participants are judged primarily on talent, with additional points for stage presence.
Judges for the competition are from Central Florida and are outstanding in their respective fields, the release says.
Information about the competition is available on the HeritageArts.org website, and also is distributed to each school music teacher in Central Pasco and East Pasco; many dance, vocal and instrumental studios; and, local chambers of commerce.
Each year, the Moonlight and Ivory Concerts raise money to help support scholarships in the visual and performing arts. This year, the matinee and evening Moonlight and Ivory Concerts are set for Feb. 1, at the Historic Dade City Woman’s Club.
37th annual Spotlight on Talent
This youth talent competition gives young performers a chance to show off their talents and possibly win a trophy or cash award.
Application deadline: Jan. 23
Tryouts: Feb. 8
Final competitions: March 7 (matinee at noon; evening show at 7 p.m.)
Applications and information are available at HeritageArts.org.
For more information, contact Barbara Friedman at (352) 567-1720 or .
“Moonlight and Ivory” Concerts
The 23rd annual “Moonlight and Ivory” concerts sponsored by the Heritage Arts Center Association help to support the arts, including two annual $1,000 scholarships — one in the performing arts and the other in the visual arts.
Here is the information about this year’s concerts and art exhibitions:
What: Moonlight and Ivory Concerts: Event includes music, art and refreshments
When: Feb. 1 at 2 p.m., with art exhibition following the concert; and, 7 p.m. art exhibition, followed by a 7:30 p.m. concert.
Where: Historic Dade City Woman’s Club, 37922 Palm Ave., in Dade City
Details: Local musicians perform in a variety of styles – jazz, classical, folk, sacred and Broadway among them. Refreshments are served during intermission, and an art show is included in both concerts.
Cost: Tickets are $15 for the matinee and $25 for the evening show. They may be purchased at The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce; American Eagle Antiques in Dade City; or online at HeritageArts.org.
Info: Contact Jessica Werckman at (561) 400-1404 or .
Published January 08, 2020