And the Grammy goes to … we’ll find out, but Irvine and Northwood are both semifinalists

Two IUSD high schools have been named semifinalists in the esteemed Grammy Signature School program, which annually recognizes campuses that provide exceptional music opportunities for students.

Irvine and Northwood high schools both earned the honor this year, meaning they now have a shot at being named Grammy Signature Schools. With that designation comes a cash prize of up to $10,000.

But just making it this far is really a big deal. Of the more than 20,000 schools that were initially contacted by the Grammy Foundation, only 127 were named semifinalists.

“This is an incredible honor because there are very few districts that have multiple winners,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD’s coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, “and Irvine is the only one in the state of California.”

The Grammy Signature School program looks closely at the quality and depth of high school music programs, along with the percent of students enrolled, the kinds of opportunities provided and the number and types of musical courses offered. In addition, schools may be recognized for keeping their music programs alive despite shrinking state budgets.

So take a bow, Irvine and Northwood high schools. And look for the Grammy Foundation to announce its final winners in the spring.