Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts: Wikis


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Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
Established 1984
Type Public Alternative High school
Principal Kim Bruno
Founder Fiorello H. La Guardia
Location 100 Amsterdam Avenue,
New York, New York, USA
District 10
Campus urban
Colors Red and White
Newspaper State of the Arts
Literary magazine The Lively Arts
Merger of The High School of Music & Art (1934)
and High School of Performing Arts (1947)

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is a high school specializing in teaching visual arts and performing arts, located near Martin Luther King, Jr. High School and the Juilliard School in the Lincoln Center district of Manhattan, on Amsterdam Avenue. The school is operated by the New York City Department of Education.

Although it also offers academic diplomas, the school prepares public high school students for professional careers and/or conservatory study in dance, drama, the visual arts, vocal, instrumental music, and technical theatre.

Informally known as LaGuardia Arts, or LaGuardia High School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is the only school among the nine specialized high schools in New York City that receives special funding from the New York State legislature through the Hecht Calandra Act.

The school currently has 2,519 students and 163 staff members, with a teacher-student ratio of 1:15.



The High School of Music & Art was founded by Fiorello H. LaGuardia in 1936. As the mayor of New York City he wanted to establish a public school in which students could hone their talents in music and art. In 1948, a similar school, the School of Performing Arts, was created to harness students’ talents in dance, music, and/or drama. After the schools merged in 1961, they relocated to a new building in Lincoln Center. The Board of Education honored Mayor LaGuardia by naming the new building after him. Prior to the building's completion in 1984, Music & Art (a/k/a "The Castle on the Hill" was located on Convent Avenue and 135th Street in what has since become part of City College (CCNY)'s South Campus; the building is home to A. Philip Randolph High School, which continues Music & Art's legacy of greatness in the arts. Performing Arts was located in midtown on 46th Street, both in Manhattan. Mayor La Guardia regarded Music & Art as the "most hopeful accomplishment" of his long administration as mayor.[1]

The [film] Fame (originally released in 1980, and remade in 2009) and the TV Series Fame both dramatized student life at the School of Performing Arts prior to its merger into LaGuardia High School, and an Off-Broadway show of Fame was produced in 2003–2004.

Alumni from LaGuardia and its two legacy schools, Music & Art and Performing Arts, are active in supporting the students and the school through scholarships and support for special programs, school events, and reunions held at the school and throughout the world. The school's alumni organization has a full-time executive director and offices at the school. It functions as an independent charitable organization organized under the laws of New York.


Students at LaGuardia take a full academic course load while participating in conservatory-style arts concentration. Each student majors in one studio, choosing from among Dance, Drama, Art, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, and Technical Theatre.

Many graduates from LaGuardia continue their studies in universities or conservatories after graduation.[citation needed].

LaGuardia follows up to a 10 period day, including one lab per week. Periods are 45 minutes long with a 4 minute break between each period. Each student spends a minimum of three periods in studio classes (four for Dance and Drama majors, whose studios fulfill physical education requirements), and usually five to six periods in English, Math, Science, History, Language, and/or Physical Education, with one period for lunch. By state law, students are required to complete four years of English and History classes, three years of math and science, two years of foreign language, and four years of gym. Students who do not meet their studio requirements at graduation leave without a studio-endorsed diploma.[citation needed]

LaGuardia has offered an honors track to students entering after 2006, known as the DaVinci Program. DaVinci Scholars take more difficult classes in math and science and participate in a supplementary after-school enrichment program. Students not in the program may still take individual honors classes. LaGuardia also offers Advanced Placement courses in English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Italian languages, United States History, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Art History and Music Theory.[citation needed]

Notable alumni

The following people are alumni of LaGuardia High School and its two legacy schools, The High School of Music & Art, and the School of Performing Arts High School.[2]:



Classical Musicians

Classical Singers

Jazz Musicians




Producers / Entertainment Executives

Singers, songwriters, rappers, pop artists



Artists & Illustrators


Other Academics


Students are accepted based on auditions (Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music and Vocal Music) and portfolios (Art and Technical Theater). Their academic and attendance records are also scrutinized with most incoming students scoring at least a "3" - meeting standards - on their seventh grade standardized exams. Auditions are held in November and December.

It is difficult to be accepted into one of the specialized schools, considering the thousands of students who audition, from all 5 boroughs of New York. Those auditioning for LaGuardia must realize that chances of securing a spot depend upon the ratio between the number of spots and number of applicants within that specific department; in other words, some departments are harder to get into than others. In the instrumental department, auditions are separated even further; the child would be competing only against children who auditioned on the same instrument, and therefore it is harder to get in using very common instrument than on a less common one.


LaGuardia offers 21 different sports on the Varsity level. It is one of 8 schools in New York City which still runs the Gymnastics Program. LaGuardia competes with the Public School Athletic League (PSAL). In the fall they offer sports such as bowling, swimming,volleyball, cross country (girls), fencing (co-ed), soccer, and cross country (boys). In the winter, students can participate in other sports such as basketball, gymnastics, and indoor track (boys and girls). In the spring the school offers baseball, outdoor track, tennis, volleyball (boys), handball, outdoor track, softball and tennis (girls). [4]


  1. ^ Steigman, Benjamin: Accent on Talent — New York's High School of Music & Art Wayne State University Press, 1984 ISBN 0-686-87975-9
  2. ^ A more complete list is available at
  3. ^ Stewart, Zan. "Born to swing: Nat Adderley Jr. returns to his roots", The Star-Ledger, September 10, 2009. Accessed September 10, 2009.
  4. ^

See also

External links



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