The GRAMMY Foundation announced today that 10 schools nationwide have been selected as GRAMMY Signature Schools for 2013 and have been awarded cash grants totaling $56,000. Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year.
"For the past 15 years, our GRAMMY Signature Schools program has been providing much-needed financial resources and recognizing excellence in schools across the U.S. whose music programs have a positive impact on the lives of their students," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. "We're extremely grateful to our sponsors, whose generous support has allowed this initiative to grow. This program also was one source of inspiration behind the new Music Educator Award [starting in 2014] being presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation that will honor music's unsung heroes — the teachers who spend their days in classrooms encouraging music's next generation."
Each of the 10 GRAMMY Signature Schools will receive a custom award and a monetary grant to benefit its music program. The top three schools are designated Gold recipients. The best of the Gold recipients is named the National GRAMMY Signature School and will receive $10,000. The two remaining Gold schools each will receive $5,500. One remaining GRAMMY Signature School recipient will receive a grant of $2,000 to benefit its music programs. In the Enterprise Award category, which recognizes efforts made by schools that are economically underserved, six schools will receive a grant of $5,500 each.
The GRAMMY Foundation also offers the GRAMMY Signature Schools Community Award, an extension of the GRAMMY Signature Schools program in partnership with Best Buy and the Hot Topic Foundation. Through this alliance, the GRAMMY Foundation identifies deserving public high school music programs to receive the award and a $2,000 grant. During the past year, approximately 86 schools have received the GRAMMY Signature Schools Community Award, and total grants exceeding $172,000.
The selection process for GRAMMY Signature Schools begins each year in August when the GRAMMY Foundation mails notifications to more than 20,000 public high schools from districts large and small, urban, suburban and rural, requesting information about each school's music program. Applications are completed and submitted online in October at www.grammyintheschools.com. After the applications are scored, finalists are identified and asked to submit additional documentation, such as recordings of school concerts, sample concert programs and repertoire, which is then reviewed by an independent blue-ribbon committee of top music educators and professionals to determine the schools that merit GRAMMY Signature School status.
GRAMMY Signature Schools are made possible in part through the generous support of Best Buy, the Ford Motor Company Fund, and the Hot Topic Foundation.