Talented homeschoolers in the Spotlight

Talented homeschoolers Rose Phelps, left, and Clare Hernandez, right, competed well against their traditionally schooled peers.

Homeschoolers including Rose Phelps, left, and Clare Hernandez, right, competed well against their traditionally schooled peers.

 Talented homeschoolers in the Spotlight

Story by Beacon Staff, photos courtesy of Heritage Arts and Gary Hatrick


This past March 28, 125 talented young performers competed in the 2015 Spotlight on Talent, hosted at the Center for the Arts in Wesley Chapel. Winners received a share of $4,000 in cash and awards. The 2015 event was the Heritage Arts Center Association’s 32nd annual showcase event involving performing arts in a variety of disciplines.

Spotlight Producer Barbara Friedman said the 2015 event lived up a the proud tradition of excellence and variety, “Our preliminary auditions were so amazing, so we knew we would see some great things in the finals—and we sure did!”

While most competitors were students at local public or private schools, the homeschool community in central and east Pasco was well represented by several talented performers. In fact, homeschooled students won awards in most event categories.

In Act 1, category 1 (grades 11, 12) guitarist Kevin Hernandez finished in 4th place. Act 1, category 2 (grades 8, 9) pianist Maria Hernandez finished in 3rd place. Act 1, category 3 (grade 10) musical theater performer Rose Phelps finished in 1st place and pianist Clare Hernandez finished in 4th place. In the Act 1 “groups” category, The Phelps Sisters took 3rd place. In Act II, category 2 (grades 5, 6) pianist Agnes Hernandez finished 3rd and dancer Grace Williams finished in 4th place.

Each one of these talented and hardworking homeschool students prove, once again, that choosing homeschool does not mean your students miss out on opportunities for extracurricular activities, self-expression and that other “s” word … socialization.


Check out these awesome pictures of Spotlight on Talent’s homeschooled artists and performers:

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We certainly do not want to dismiss the efforts and excellence of all the 2015 Spotlight competitors. Here is the full list of winners in each category:

In Act I, category 1 (grades 11, 12) Jordan Allison finished in 1st place, Shelby Johnson finished 2nd, James Williams finished 3rd, and Kevin Hernandez finished 4th. In Act I, category 2 (grades 8, 9) Minerva Nong finished in 1st place, Victoria Neukom finished 2nd, Maria Hernandez finished 3rd, and Maitlin Hart finished 4th. In Act I, category 3 (grade 10) Rose Phelps finished in 1st place. David Singh finished 2nd, Owen Clanahan finished 3rd, and Clare Hernandez finished 4th. In the Act I Groups Category, Star Dancers finished in 1st place, the Pasco High Jazz Band finished 2nd, and The Phelps Sisters finished 3rd.

In Act II Category 1 (grades 2 – 4) Kasey Lang finished in 1st place, Brooklyn Ryan finished 2nd, and Dailani Brooks finished 3rd. In Act II Category 2 (grades 5, 6) Isaac Addison finished 1st, Katie Knight finished 2nd, Agnes Hernandez finished 3rd, and Grace Williams finished 4th. In Act II Category 3 (grade 7) Josie Virgen finished 1st, Julianna Mazza finished 2nd, Allison Crump finished 3rd and Sylvia Firlejczyk finished 4th. In the Act II Groups Category, Star Dancers finished 1st, Showbiz finished 2nd, and Grace and Jane Barlow finished 3rd.

Spotlight on Talent is produced and presented by the nonprofit Heritage Arts Center Association. Friedman and a team of 18 volunteers to make sure the show goes on. For more information about Heritage Arts or Spotlight on Talent, click here.




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