NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 23, 2014 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Diamond Bar High Celebrates National GRAMMY Award
DIAMOND BAR, CA—Diamond Bar High School has been named the 2014 National Grammy Signature School, becoming the first high school in California to receive the prestigious award.
The community came out to celebrate during a gala held April 21 to honor the instrumental and vocal programs under the direction of teachers Steve Acciani, Marie Sato, and Patty Breitag.
The special event held at the Diamond Bar Center featured music performed by the award-winning musicians.
“We are incredibly proud of Patty, Marie, and Steve for this amazing accomplishment. We are especially proud of our kids, their parents, and the community for supporting our four A’s: Academics, Athletics, Activities, and the Arts!” said Principal Catherine Real.
Two Governors from the L.A. Chapter of the Recording Academy will present the award to Diamond Bar High School during a National Award Presentation Concert at Mt. SAC’s Sophia B. Clarke Theater on Saturday, April 26. DBHS will receive $6,000 for its programs.
"This is a wonderful honor for Diamond Bar High School. I couldn't be more proud of our dedicated teachers and outstanding musicians," said Board President Cindy Ruiz.
“The Board of Trustees values the importance of the arts and has made it a priority to keep music programs in our schools.”
There are over 650 students in the school’s instrumental music program, with another 200 participating in the choirs.
“We have a wealth of talent here,” Acciani noted.
Every year, the Grammy foundation looks to high school music programs to try to find programs that best personify their ideals.
“I think the Grammy Foundation was looking for a program that reaches out to every student,” Acciani said.
The process involved a lengthy and arduous application including submitting performance recordings.
“We have such an extensive and diverse program that I thought we would do well in the evaluation,” he said. Diamond Bar was also distinguished as a Grammy Signature School in 2009.
When the Brahma program was named among the 120 Grammy semifinalists, they had to make recordings of all the instrumental and choral groups for the judges.
“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the District and community,” Acciani said.
The school’s leadership had the vision to make sure the program met the needs of every single student.
“They allowed us to think outside the box,” he added. The school brings in a group of about 20 professional musicians in weekly to work and mentor students through a unique partnership with University of Southern California. They provide students with high-end instruction and professional advice.
”These incredible musicians have a commitment to children and make sure every student maximizes their potential,” Acciani stated.
The community raises nearly $250,000 a year to provide private lessons, instruments, music and great opportunities for the Diamond Bar High musicians.
“I have been a huge fan of the program for years and am so amazed with the incredible talent of the students. With the dedication of the music directors and the outstanding musical ability of the students, the National Grammy Award is very well deserved," said Jody Roberto, event organizer.
"The impact of our GRAMMY Signature Schools program is truly significant," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.
"Through this GRAMMY in the Schools initiative, the GRAMMY Foundation is able to provide critical financial resources and bring attention to the excellence of music programs in schools across the United States. This program also helped inspire the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation that honors music's unsung heroes — the teachers who encourage music's next generation."
The Diamond Bar High Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Steve Acciani, performed during the Grammy Award Gala held on April 21. (5271,5275, 5247)
Diamond Bar High School Principal Catherine Real, Instructional Dean Julian Rodriguez, and Instrumental Music Director Steve Acciani at the National Grammy Signature School celebration. (5278)
A string quartet played during the DBHS National Grammy Signature School celebration held at the Diamond Bar Center. Shown: Stanley Liu, Irene Kim, Evelyn Wang, and Megan Wong. (5252)
The DBHS BiPolar Bears band during the Grammy Award Gala. The teen rockers have played at the Anaheim House of Blues. Shown: Aaron Kerestes, Darryl Matsune, Maddie Landi. (5262)
Piano virtuoso David Yu performed at the Grammy Award Gala. He was featured on NPR’s From the Top radio program, and was named winner of the Jack Kent Cook Young Artist award. (5265)
Board Members Larry Redinger, Cindy Ruiz, and Dr. Y. Tony Torng, Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor, and senior pianist David Yu at the Grammy Award Gala held April 21.