(Cazenovia, NY – Nov. 27, 2013) Cazenovia High School was one of 123 schools nationwide to be named GRAMMY Signature Schools semi-finalists Nov. 20 by the GRAMMY Foundation.

Created in 1998, the program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education.

Finalists, who receive monetary grants between $1,000 and $15,000, will be announced in mid-March 2014. The grants are made possible in part by sponsorships from Converse, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Hot Topic Foundation and Journeys.

“The GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes public high schools across the U.S. that are providing excellent music education programs for their students,” said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. “Many of these schools face serious economic challenges, so it’s truly inspiring to see this level of commitment to arts education and to the students who benefit from this type of curriculum.”

According to a news release, the selection process begins each August, when the foundation mails notifications to more than 20,000 high schools, requesting information about each school’s music program. Applications are completed and submitted online in October. 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.

According to Teresa Campbell, who chairs the school’s music department, Cazenovia has submitted all requested recordings and forms.

“Now it’s simply a waiting game until March,” Campbell said.

Cazenovia has eight performing ensembles for students in grades nine through 12: concert choir, women’s choir, chamber choir, concert band, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, orchestra and string ensemble. Students audition for the chamber choir, jazz ensemble, string ensemble and wind ensemble, which play advanced repertoire and attend competitions and adjudication festivals.

“We always have a high percentage of students represented in the Madison County All-County Music Festivals and also the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Zone 3 Area All-State,” Campbell said. “Many of our student musicians participate in the NYSSMA solo adjudication festival each year.”

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage.

By martha

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