The Grammy Foundation announced that Harrison High School has been selected as a Grammy Signature Schools semifinalist for 2013. Applications from the Performing Arts Departments of 20,000 public high schools nationwide were evaluated and 129 schools from across the country have been awarded this distinction. Of the 15 schools selected from the State of New York, Harrison is the only school from Westchester County and its surrounding districts to be honored.
“Our district views exposure to an experience in fine and performing arts as an essential part of a student’s development,” said Superintendent Louis Wool. “To that end, we provide a rich and diversified arts experience for all of our students.”
A Grammy award, originally called a Gramophone Award, is an honor bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science (NARAS) to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. In 1998, the Grammy Signature Schools program was created by the Grammy Foundation to recognize top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during the academic school year.
“I am excited for my students to be recognized by NARAS in this way,” said HHS Co-Band Director and NARAS member Charlie Briem. “The consideration validates the effort that each one has given to be a musician: years of instruction, years of practice, emotional and physical commitment and sacrificing on many levels to be proficient performers. This award also recognizes the well rounded, informed musician who is in love with music and creative pursuits.”
Harrison High School’s vibrant music program has seen their students perform at Heritage Music Festivals in Atlanta and Chicago in recent years. The Marching Band was one of 15 bands nationwide selected to perform at the 50th Anniversary of the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii this past December and the HHS Chorus and Orchestra will participate in the Heritage Festival this spring in Boston. Harrison also offers small ensemble performing opportunities such as the Madrigal Singers, Jazz Band and Jazz Chorus as well as unique cabaret nights.
“As a member of the music faculty, I think I speak for all my colleagues when I say we are honored to have advanced to the semi-finalist round,” said Chorus Director Lynn Fusco. “The Grammy Signature Schools Award is a prestigious recognition, one that we would graciously accept on behalf of our dedicated administration, teachers, students and staff.”
While Grammys will be awarded to deserving musicians in February, the Grammy Foundation will announce the finalists for the Grammy Signature Schools program in mid-March. These schools will receive a custom award and a monetary grant ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to benefit its music program.