Woodbridge High School has been named the 2016 National Grammy Signature School for its outstanding music program. This designation is one of the most prestigious accolades in music education. Since the inception of the GRAMMY Foundation in 1988, IUSD’s four comprehensive high schools have received 12 Gold and Signature Grammy awards but this is the first-ever top honor for an IUSD school.
In 2016, the GRAMMY Foundation presented Signature School awards to just 13 schools across the nation. The top three schools were designated Gold recipients. The best of the Gold recipients, Woodbridge High School, was named the National GRAMMY Signature School. Woodbridge will also receive a $5,000 prize.
“This national honor is a tribute to our extraordinary music program, including our dedicated music instructors and students,” said Woodbridge Principal Chris Krebs. “Winning this award is akin to winning a national championship in athletics.” Krebs went on to praise the music instructors for their professional and personal investments in the program and its students.
In late 2015, the GRAMMY Foundation announced that all four of IUSD’s comprehensive high schools were named 2016 GRAMMY Signature School Semifinalists – a historical first – making IUSD the only district in the nation with four schools with this designation. Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools were among 119 schools nationwide selected as semifinalists.
“This is a very important and prestigious honor for our students, staff and community,” said Brad Van Patten, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts. “It is a testament to the entire K-12 program that allows for a quality music education with access and equity for every child in IUSD to help develop their individual talents in a collaborative ensemble that will be a part of their college and career skillset.”
Applications for the honor were submitted in the fall. Semifinalists were asked to submit additional documentation, including concert recordings. Those materials were reviewed by an independent committee of top music educators and professionals, who decided which schools merited the designation.
The Grammy Foundation promotes the impact of recorded music on American culture and recognizes schools that provide exceptional music opportunities for students. Each year, more than 20,000 public high schools have an opportunity to apply to become Grammy Signature Schools, but only a small number earn the honor.