Northwood, Irvine and Woodbridge are among 127 Grammy semifinalists

Three IUSD high schools have been named semifinalists in the national Grammy Signature Schools award program, which annually recognizes campuses that provide exceptional music opportunities for students.

Northwood, Irvine and Woodbridge high schools are now among 127 sites that have a chance to be named 2014 Grammy Signature Schools — and earn a cash award of up to $10,000 — when the Grammy Foundation announces 10 winners in the spring.

That’s pretty impressive, considering more than 20,000 public high schools were given an opportunity to pursue the honor.

Established in 1989, the Grammy Foundation promotes the impact of recorded music on American culture and spotlights outstanding music programs across the country. IUSD’s four comprehensive high schools have earned Grammy Signature School status nine times, with four of those going to Northwood.

“Of the 20,000 schools that were eligible this year, only 127 are semifinalists, and three of them are in the Irvine Unified School District,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD’s coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts. “That really is a testament to the community support we receive for our music programs, including extremely generous contributions from the Irvine Company and the Irvine Public Schools Foundation.”

October was the deadline for Grammy Signature School applications, which were completed online. The semifinalists must now submit additional documentation, including concert recordings, which will be reviewed by an independent committee of top music educators and professionals.

The 10 Grammy Signature Schools of 2014 will win custom awards and monetary grants at various levels to benefit their music programs. The top recipient, known as the National Grammy Signature School, gets $10,000.