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February 27, 2001     Beverly Hills Weekly
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February 27, 2001
 

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are und Beverly Wood School Makes the Grade Hamilton Academy of Music has students and educators singing songs and praise By Jeremiah Marquez Lost in Ihe roar (~t bad news about teachel satazics and shrinking chlssi,Jonl spa~e is the slory of Ih Hamihon High School Academy ~01 Music, a nalionally lenowned pl [ozlning arts nlagnet "We're tile best," says Academy director Jeff Kaufinan. "Performance wlsc. we arc tile best " In 1999. the program was dislinguished as one t~l hesl on Ihe west coast when NARAS selected it as a Grammy Signature Schooh Fhe schotd ig outtitted ui{h Ihe mosl advanced music and theater equipment in Los Angeles Unified School District, and a renlarkable 92 percent of last year's graduating class received acceptances m tour year universities, many of them top notch schools like UC Berkeley, USC, Oberfi~ and Princelon. In the 15 years since ils inception, the Acadelny of Music, located on South Roberlson Boulevard near the 10 lreeway, has grown from a student body el 630 to 922, canting counlless awards and the esteem el sludents, the entertainmenl illdustry and college mcruilers alike "They'le producing ',rlrtuolls musicians Ihal go onto the finest colleges2' said Merle E Price, saperinlcndenl el Dislrict D, which includes I hmlihon and several ethel neigh boring high ~cllools Price said the students perfbrm at a 'qevel Ilia[ surpasses any other ill die distliCl " "It's a line pezti~lming arts school, very s[iOllg,' agrees Pahicc Madula, associate pro iessor and chail el music cdtlcation al U.~("s lhornton School el Music '"1 he qualdy el teaching and the level el the sludcnts is qUile high" [ lie ac.ldcmy is II/al kcd by a rig(}rmls acadcnlic program Ihat run~ an hotlr long{21 IhaH Ihc normal seven hour school day Students COllCentratc in Lnle o~ eight in,tiers, incfild ing dance, inslrunlental music, dranla md eleclronic llltlSic [] ~1 student's imeresls :ire nol nlel bg tile Cllrrictduln. Ihc acadclny's ilUlllerous and varied pc[ h)rlJlalnCe groups liH {h(/se needs "W~2 ha%e Ihrec iazz bands. Iwo nlafiachi hands, symphonic DI~hFs[IkL chalnhcr i/itlSiC, concert band, vocal jazz." Kaufman said. enumerating several el the twv, d~zcn groups (Ill Calllptls Tile quality el tim plogranl occasmnally draws sludcnts I}om olhcr school districl', including Beverly Hills "We've hid kids who have transi)rred to Hanldt(m hecause dley nccd that spcciahy." says Joel Pressman, the clloral dilector al Beverly Hills High School Beverly Ilills per li~rming arts program Is ~ery welt legarded, hul doesn'l offer the illlense kdld el spc cialty like Ilanlihon. Pressman stud One key to the pr{~gralTl's Stlccess is [he high level el paren~ hlvolvcnlen[ Palent nJn lundraising clubs abound at Hamilt~m alld inr3st parents lorgc close lelali(mships ~*ilh the l~lctlh y "1 Parents L support the Sltldcn[s and are hole when Ithc students] need Ihcm," said Cat,fl Turly, who sent six of her children to the Academy and now volunteers lull tinl fi~r die school "'lf leachers call them and there's a concern, they're responsive?' Hanlihon would no[ be the school it is today without the parents, Naulinan said Nor would it be the same withoul its endowment At a time when inost ptlblic ,,chl~)ls are qlort on tundg, lhe acadenly's coffers arc overflowing The mcmey gives Ille p*ogram financial leeway to pta 1313 expensive shows, hire choreographers, hire assistant direc to~'s, and ill general enhance Ihe program, Kautman said Ticket sales lk~r s{udenl concerts help I()ol lhe bill, bul tile bulk oflhe money tames hem an annual benefll gala, which doubles as a plalhmn lor students m showcase their lai ents The gala typic flly brings in upwards of $I00,{~)0 Last yeaz die evelll set a record ]aising $3(X).00fi wdh the help of donations from t)avid Geffen. and Mayol Richard Riordan said Norm Patliz, llamilmn alum lind chairman oI media congh}rllcratc Weslwood One, Inc. Pattiz's personal contributions to Hamilton exceed $2 milli{?n, and the schrlol's state ofqile nit concert hall bears his lining "When you get tile c(}mmunit}, palcnts, key players from the prwate seet(~L and the school district [wl~rking tugedlcl ]. '/ou wind up with success stories like Handtmn Higl~ SchooL" PetPz said t/omilto*~ studcm musrc proy( cts ate avedlable itl MPJ JoHnat at ~* ~* mhmsd kJ2 ( a u~/l/amilton Muffc Mak'nellela6/ I-,. mo+~" in~o.natio+~ ~ all ( ~101 559 9468 10 * beverly Hills Weekly THE IRANIAN AMERICAN PARENTS ASSOCIATION OF BEVERLY HILLS, THE REGENT BEVERLY WILSHIRE HOTEL. AND THE CITY OF BEVERLY HILLS Cordially mvtte you to a Nowruz extravaganza of music, food, dance, and art celebrating the Iranian New Year and the beginning of Spring. Thursday, March 8. 2001 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel The Ballroom 9500 Wllshire Boulevard Beverly.Hills, California 90210 RSVP and Information: 310 289-1418 310 273-7477 We lend a helping hand Assisted living at West Los Angeles" most caring retirement facility .~ -2._. renttuoo 1anor 1449 South Wellesley, West Los Angeles West of Bundy, between Wilshire & Santa M0nica (Reasonable Private Rates) You're invited! We accept SSI. Wilshire Blvd. (7onl:.lck Jullc Gale~ood, Admmislrakor (310) 826-3581 Santa Moeica Blvd. l.icensedfor non-ambulato(v Lic 19 1800 102 ..... ......................... ................ .......... .....