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Over 15,000 will knock but few will enter. Applicants of the La Guardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts come from all over, from each of the five new York City boroughs, from every walk of life in an ethnic and cultural mix that represents the city's diversity. In 1997, 800 new students were admitted but some years that number is a low as 650.

The audition or portfolio is essential. Those who get accepted are accepted for one main reason; they have talent. Sure, admission is based on the audition followed by an academic screening test but talent opens the door. For, while the pace is grueling, the teachers demanding, and the competition never ending, at least the tuition is free.

As part of the school system of New York City, the Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, La Guardia High School, as its known to the natives provides 2400 students with lessons in drama, dance, voice and instrumental music.

La Guardia is the Fame school, where teenagers pay their dues through a rigorous schedule, combining professional level conservatory style arts training with college preparatory academics in a 50/50 mix.

La Guardia is the first government funded school for the arts in the United States and is a model for schools in the United Kingdom such as the Brit School in Croydon and the Liverpool School For the Performing Arts founded by Paul McCartney.

It all started in 1936 when mayor La Guardia founded the High School of Music and Art which later merged with the School of Performing Arts.

In 1984, the school moved into its own nine story building in the Lincoln Center district of Manhattan. The school was an answer to a twenty year promise from the City's school board for a state-of-the-art facility, it houses a 1,100-seat concert hall and a 500-seat theatre.

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The unique mission of Firello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts ("LaGuardia Arts") is to provide students gifted in the arts with the opportunity to pursue both vigorous conservatory-style training and a challenging college-preparatory program. To fulfill our mission, LaGuardia Ats students complete a dual program consisting of their chosen studio major (Art, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Technical Theatre, and Vocal Music) and a comprehensive academic program.

The first and foremost high school dedicated to nurturing students talented in the arts, LaGuardia Arts' heritage and tradition go back nearly 70 years, when Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia established a school to serve as a haven for students gifted in the arts. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the creation of LaGuardia Arts by the consolidation of the two illustrious schools: the High School of Music and Art and the School of Performing Arts (the "Fame" school).

Our state-of-the art building at Lincoln Center was designed especially for LaGuardia Arts and includes a world-class theatre, concert hall, dance and art studios and complete academic facilities with full science laboratories and computed facilities. While LaGuardia Arts students have a full school day with a full academic program and three or four periods of studio classes daily, their education extends beyond the school day and building. Students participate in a wealth of events that include Art Exhbits, Drama Festivals, Orchestral and Vocal Concerts and Dance Programs. In addition, LaGuardia Arts students are invited to participate in many special events and performances throughtout the metropilitan area.

Because of out history of success developing the special talents of its students through professional training and academic preparation LaGuardia Arts continues to serve as a model for new schools of the arts throughout the world.

Dual Diploma Requirements
In order to qualify for the LaGuardia Arts studio-endorsed diploma, students must meet all the academic requirements for a New York City and New York State diploma, as well as the special requirements of their studio. Depending on their studio area, students must pass either a comprehensive written examination or exhibit a satisfactory level of performance in their senior year to qualify for the studio-endorsed diploma.

Acedemic Rigor
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in all academic areas resulting in uniquely accomplished and educated students. Current AP courses include English Literature and Composition, English Language and Composition, American History, Calculus A and B, Art History, Music Theory, French and Spanish Literature and Language, Biology, Psychology and Physics.

 

Notable Alumni

COMPOSERS
Cy Coleman
Morton Feldman
Charles Fox
Gerald Fried
Joel Hirschhorn
Edward Kleban
Ben Lanzarone
Jonathan Tunick

CLASSICAL SINGERS
Jennifer Chase
Gloria Davy
Susan Gregory
Esther Hinds
Rhea Jackson
Julia Migenes
Lenore Sampson
Theresa Santiago

DIRECTORS,WRITERS
Robert Brustein
James Burrows
Martin Charnin
Herb Gardner
Erica Jong
Lonny Price
Charles Van Doren

CONDUCTORS
Leon Botstein
Leslie Dunner
Andrew Schenck
Gerard Schwarz
Stanley Silver
David Zinman

JAZZ MUSICIANS
Nat Adderly, Jr.
Walter Blanding
Eddie Daniels
Malcolm Dobbs
Parker Kelly
Tess Marsalis
Jimmy Owens
Noel Pointer
Dave Valentin

ACTORS
Jennifer Aniston
Ellen Barkin
Adrien Brody
Hal Linden
Priscilla Lopez
Al Pacino
Tony Roberts
Wesley Snipes
Susan Strasberg
Leslie Ann Warren
Billy Dee Williams

CLASSICAL MUSICIANS
Carol Stein Amado
Jerome Ashby
Ik-Hwan Bae
Isidore Cohen
Daniel Domb
Stanley Drucker
Marian Heller
Richard Horowitz
Stephen Kates
Sung-Ju Lee
Murray Perahia
Joel Smirnoff
Andor Toth
Pinchas Zukerman

DANCERS / CHOREOGRAPHERS
Jacqulyn Buglisi
Gary Chryst
Starr Danias
George De La Pena
Louis Falco
Eliot Feld
Coco Ramirez
Desmond Richardson
Edward Villella

ENTERTAINERS
Diahann Carroll
Janice Ian
Eartha Kitt
Shari Lewis
Melissa Manchester
Liza Minnelli
Laura Nyro
Suzanne Vega
Ben Vereen
Peter Yarrow

 

2005 Reunion Article
(located in Past Buzz)

We're Gonna Live Forever!

 

LaGuardia Arts Students Recreate Scene from Fame.

 

 

 

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