Courtesy Veronica Cantu,
Laredo, Texas: The GRAMMY Foundation has selected 119 schools nationwide as GRAMMY Signature Schools semifinalists for 2016. United ISD’s John B. Alexander High School is one of them. 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. “On behalf of our Board of Trustees, we would like to congratulate the “Mighty Bulldog Band” for being selected for this honor,” said United ISD Superintendent Roberto J. Santos. “Our band students and directors should be applauded for this accomplishment.”
Each of the GRAMMY Signature Schools finalists will receive a custom award and monetary grant to benefit its music program. The top programs are designated Gold recipients, and the best program of the Gold recipients is designated as the National GRAMMY Signature School. The remaining schools are designated as GRAMMY Signature Schools.
“From our perspective, many public high schools across the country provide top notch music education programs for their students—often working with very limited financial means,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. “Our GRAMMY Signature Schools program steps in to augment those resources with cash grants, and to celebrate the excellence of these programs and the beneficial and lasting effects of a music curriculum in the lives of young people. In mid-March 2016, the GRAMMY Foundation will announce the finalists for the GRAMMY Signature Schools program. These schools will receive a custom award and a monetary grant ranging from $1,000 up to $6,000 to benefit their music program.
“What an absolute honor it is to be recognized by the GRAMMY Foundation in this way. It is a national recognition that is well deserved for not only our wonderful students, but their Music instructors as well,” said Jose Valenzuela, director of bands for John B. Alexander High School.
Valenzuela is assisted by Lyle Perkins, Patrick Lewis, and Jacob Thompson. Michael Guzman is the school’s choir director and Ray Peña is the orchestra director.
“United ISD is very proud of the strong dedication to the music program being offered at the J.B. Alexander High School,” said United ISD Fine Arts Director Javier Vera. “Research has shown that learning music facilitates learning in other subjects and enhances skills that our children can use in other areas of their life.”