Hundreds of IUSD Students Participated in 35th Annual Bren Honors Concert


Hundreds of IUSD’s outstanding musicians took center stage during the 35th annual Donald Bren Honors Concert at Segerstrom Concert Hall, located at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Approximately 625 top IUSD vocalists and instrumentalists in grades five through 12 participated in the musical showcase. This annual event is presented by the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, in partnership with IUSD.

“The Bren Honors Concert has become an important IUSD tradition and has given our exceptionally talented students the opportunity to showcase their music and vocals in a world-class venue,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD’s coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts. “This year, the concert concluded with a special finale featuring 340 student vocalist in the high school honor orchestra having the honor to perform Peter Boyer’s “On Music’s Wings” with the composer also conducting. Students ended the night by receiving a standing ovation.”

The concert is named in recognition of the generosity of philanthropist Donald Bren. Under his leadership, the Donald Bren Foundation and the Irvine Company have provided more than $200 million to support education, including more than $45 million to preserve art, music and science programs in IUSD.
In addition to serving as an incredible performance opportunity for students, the Donald Bren Honors Concert also generates funds to support music education.  “The Donald Bren Honors Concert represents an outstanding effort by donors, parents, music instructors, students and members of the community to provide, preserve and expand outstanding music programs for kids in our schools,” said IPSF President and CEO Neda Eaton.


Irvine Company Issued Latest Installment of $45M Commitment to Art, Music and Science


During the first Board Meeting of 2017, the Irvine Company presented IUSD with a check for $2.15 million as part of the Excellence in TIC PhotoEducation Enrichment Fund grant, which supports art, music and science education for Irvine Unified School District students in grades four through six.

In September 2016, Mr. Donald Bren and the Irvine Company announced that they would renew the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund grant with an additional $20 million over the next 10 years, bringing the Irvine Company’s commitment to IUSD students and families to more than $45 million.  Each year, more than 7,000 students are positively impacted by the Enrichment Fund.  To date, this unprecedented support has benefited more than 70,000 IUSD students.

Robin Leftwich, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Irvine Company, presented this year’s check to the IUSD Board of Education and IUSD students.  Board President Ira Glasky expressed the District’s gratitude for the generous donation, which has sustained critical educational opportunities in IUSD.

Superintendent Terry Walker stated that the Enrichment Fund has had a lasting and positive impact for IUSD students, before introducing IUSD Student Board Member Allie Hunter, who performed “Always Starting Over” from the musical If/Then.  Hunter, who is a Senior at Woodbridge High School, delivered a pitch perfect performance and was an excellent example of how the Enrichment Fund has benefited so many IUSD students.

Established in 2006, the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund pays for specialists to work in IUSD’s fourth through sixth-grade classrooms. Students receive two 60-minute science lessons per week, two 40-minute music lessons per week and six hour-long art lessons per year, all taught by highly qualified instructors.

The program has been extremely popular in IUSD, enabling schools to preserve and continue hands-on courses that may have been lost due to budget cuts.

Related:
Irvine Company Renews Enrichment Fund with $20M Commitment to IUSD Students


Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Finalist


IUSD is proud to announce Sierra Vista’s Music Teacher Henry Miller has been named, by the GRAMMY Foundation, one of 10 finalists for henry-miller-2016-2the 2017 Music Educator Award.  This prestigious honor is particularly impressive, given that there were more than 3,300 nominees from all 50 states.  The winner will be announced in Los Angeles during GRAMMY week and will attend the GRAMMY Awards.

The Music Educator award recognizes teachers who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools.

Below is a link to CBS This Morning’s national coverage of the 10 finalists.
http://cbsn.ws/2gmiDzh

Congratulations and best wishes to Henry!

Related News:
Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named a GRAMMY Music Educator Semifinalist
Woodbridge High School Named Top GRAMMY School in the Nation
All Four IUSD High Schools Named 2016 GRAMMY Signature School Semifinalists


Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named a GRAMMY Music Educator Semifinalist


henry-miller-2016Congratulations to Henry Miller, Sierra Vista Middle School music teacher, for his designation as semifinalist for the national GRAMMY Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.  Henry is one of 25 semifinalists selected from 3,300 nominations from all U.S. states.  His nomination represents Sierra Vista’s and IUSD’s outstanding music program and his dedication as a teacher.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.  A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception.

In December, one recipient will be selected from 10 finalists, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winner will be in Los Angeles during GRAMMY week to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

Click here to read CBS’ coverage of this prestigious honor.  To learn more, visit the GRAMMY Foundation website.

Related News:
All Four IUSD High Schools Named 2016 GRAMMY Signature School Semifinalists
Northwood’s Ben Case Named a Grammy Music Educator Semifinalist
Woodbridge High School Named Top GRAMMY School in the Nation


Irvine Company Renews Enrichment Fund with $20M Commitment to IUSD Students


board-checkThe Irvine Company has extended the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund with a renewed grant of $20 million over the next 10 years.  The Enrichment Fund supports science, music and art programs for IUSD students in grades four through six.  This most recent donation brings the Irvine Company’s commitment to IUSD students to more than $43 million over 20 years.  Each year, more than 7,000 students are positively impacted by the Enrichment Fund – that’s more than 70,000 children who have benefited from the Irvine Company’s generosity.     
 
“This gift from Irvine Company allows us to continue an enrichment program that distinguishes Irvine schools nationally,” Irvine Unified Superintendent Terry Walker said. “This is vital, especially during the shift to Common Core and new science standards requiring substantially more hands-on instruction.”
 
Robin Leftwich, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Irvine Company, presented IUSD with a $20 million check during an Enrichment Fund appreciation event, surprising teachers, students and parents in attendance.  The event, held on Monday, September 26 at Portola Springs Elementary, was to honor and thank the Irvine Company and Chairman of the Board Donald Bren for their partnership with IUSD.   In addition to speaking presentations from the Superintendent Terry Walker, School Board President Paul Bokota, Leftwich, students and teachers, the event also featured student musical performances, science demonstrations and art displays. 
     
The afternoon began with a performance by the Northwood High School String Quartet; two choral performance by fifth and sixth graders from Brywood, Canyon View, Bonita Canyon, Cypress Village and Portola Springs elementary schools; and finally, a performance by violinist Kevin Muira, an eighth-grade student at Sierra Vista Middle School and 2nd place winner in the Junior Division of the prestigious Menuhin International Violin Competition in London. 
 
Established in 2006, the Enrichment Fund has provided IUSD $2 million each year over the past decade.  The funds pay for specialists to work in IUSD’s upper-grade elementary classrooms.  To learn more, click here. 

To view a brief video of the event, click here

Hundreds of IUSD Students to Participate in Bren Honors Concert


orchestraHundreds of Irvine’s outstanding musicians will take center stage tonight for the 34th annual Donald Bren Honors Concert at 6:30 p.m. at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, located at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.  There are a handful of tickets still available. For more information, visit ipsf.net.  The Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) will also have DVDs of the performance for purchase and the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) will broadcast the concert, in its entirety, on Cox Channel 39 in early May.

This annual event is presented by IPSF, in partnership with IUSD.  In all, approximately 600 top vocalists and instrumentalists in grades five through 12 will participate in the musical showcase.

“Our students’ exceptional talent will be showcased in this world-class venue, including a special pre-concert at 6:15 p.m. that will feature the Northwood High School Jazz Ensemble I,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD’s coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts. “In addition, our high school students will be under the direction of Jonathan Talberg, the choral director of the Bob Cole Conservatory at CSU Long Beach, and Iman Khosrowpour, a IUSD alum and director of orchestras at Irvine Valley College.”

The concert is named in recognition of the generosity of philanthropist Donald Bren. Under his leadership, the Donald Bren Foundation and the Irvine Company have provided more than $200 million to support education, including a $20 million gift to preserve art, music and science programs in IUSD.

In addition to serving as an incredible performance opportunity for students, the Donald Bren Honors Concert also generates funds to support music education.  “The Donald Bren Honors Concert represents an outstanding effort by donors, parents, music instructors, students and members of the community to provide, preserve and expand outstanding music programs for kids in our schools,” said IPSF Chief Executive Officer Neda Eaton .


IUSD Students to Showcase Films at “Only in Irvine” Screening Party


IUSD students will screen their short films based on the theme, “Only in Irvine” on Wednesday, April 20 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Great Wheel Court in the Irvine Spectrum.  This free public event is hosted by the Irvine Company as part of their campaign to highlight students’ and residents’ unique Irvine experiences.

Students from all five Irvine High Schools will present their three-minute films focused on what they love about Irvine.  Food will be available for purchase, including discounted sandwiches and beverages from the Corner Bakery.

For more information about the “Only in Irvine” campaign and to share your Irvine story, visit onlyinirvine.com/.


IUSD Named a 2016 Best Community for Music Education


NAMM 2016For the fourth consecutive year, IUSD has been named one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation.  IUSD joins 476 school districts across the country in receiving this prestigious award.

“This recognition is further evidence of the District’s commitment to the arts,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD Fine Arts Coordinator.  “Through the Board of Education’s visionary leadership, fine arts have flourished in IUSD schools despite inadequate state funding.”  He went on to recognize and thank the Irvine Company and the  Irvine Public Schools Foundation for their generous support of the District’s visual and performing arts programming, which benefits thousands of students.

Now in its 17th year, the Best Communities program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and overall access to music instruction. The basis for the award is the annual NAMM Foundation survey that asks districts specifically about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and opportunities to make music in the community.

Responses were later verified with school officials and reviewed by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

In a prepared statement, the NAMM Foundation said, “This designation recognizes communities for their commitment to music education and strengthens support for these programs.  Having widely embraced the evidence indicating that music education yields great things in schools and communities, people are increasingly…advocating for school music curricula and championing programs like Best Communities that recognize this commitment to music education.”


University High Orchestra Takes First Place at National Competition


University High School’s symphony orchestra recently placed first nationally at a competition held in Tampa, FL.  The group was already in some pretty elite company.  Uni Orchestra

Uni’s Orchestra Director Grace Lee, said just ten of the top programs from around the country were invited to the National Orchestra Festival, which was organized by the American Strings Teachers Association and held March 3rd through March 6th.

“It was a wonderful experience, and the kids really enjoyed every minute of it,” Lee said. “From listening to top orchestra groups across the nation, to receiving valuable post-performance feedback from world renowned clinicians, to jamming out on electric string instruments, to learning how to play gypsy jazz, it was all an unforgettable experience the kids will remember for a lifetime.”

Three years ago, Uni’s symphony orchestra placed second in the nation.  This year, they returned to the competition with a renewed focus.

According to its website, the National Orchestra Festival invites youth, middle school and high school orchestras, which are selected to participate based on their applications and supporting materials. Groups can compete or receive evaluations for their performances, which are followed by educational clinics.

 


Woodbridge High School Named Top GRAMMY School in the Nation


grammyWoodbridge 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.