Spotlight: High School Talent Finds APU

by Tim Posada '05

On Sunday March 13, at 6 p.m., APU's Black Box Theatre overflowed as approximately 250 people gathered for APU's third annual Spotlight community talent show. Spotlight is meant to show off the talent of high school musicians, actors, and artists. The event brought performers from each of the three high schools in the city of Azusa: Gladstone High School, Sierra High School, and Azusa High School.

"Spotlight is an occasion to embrace a fuller understanding of community," said Daniel French '05, Spotlight coordinator. "A community in which resources are shared freely; in which all of APU's resources are seen as gifts, not property.

Judging the event were APU students involved in the arts. Performances fell into one of four categories: music, acting, dancing, and visual art. Along with high school performers, several guest performers entertained the audience after intermission, including the band Any Old Joe and spoken-word artist Jeremiah Blue '05.

A common theme among many of the performers was not winning, but rather the enjoyment of performing. “We don’t care if we win or not, we just want to play and get heard,” said Edward Coronel, guitarist of Shades of Ruin.

Spotlight is sponsored by the Office of Multi Ethnic Programs (MEP) and run by the Spotlight talent show coordinator. Spotlight began three years ago as a creation of Monica Ganas, Ph.D., associate professor of communication studies, and Viviana Soto '04.

"It's wonderful to see the theatre used for the community," said Ganas. "Performers displayed great energy and talent, proving that Azusa is deserving of an audience."

Spotlight continues to improve as it attempts to empower high school students in the community by giving them a voice and an opportunity to receive support.

"This year's Spotlight was a vast improvement," said French. "We look forward to the future and to working with the talent Azusa has to offer."