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High School of Music & Art

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The High School of Music & Art


Please add Geni profiles associated with the High School of Music & Art in New York, New York to this project. They can include teachers, alumnae, public officials, etc.


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History

from Wikipedia

New York City Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia started the high school in 1936, an event he described as “the most hopeful accomplishment” of his administration. The school was made up of three departments: Art, Instrumental Music, and Vocal Music. In 1984 Music & Art and its sister school, the NYC High School of Performing Arts, were merged into a new school, the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & the Arts at a new building in the Lincoln Center area of Manhattan. It was a "magnet" school, meant to draw talented students from all boroughs.

The building that once housed the High School of Music & Art is located in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem near the campus of the City College of New York and St. Nicholas Park. The building now houses the A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, a "magnet school" of the New York City Department of Education.

Architectural significance

The 1924 gothic revival building won status as a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1997. The building was designed by William H. Gompert, Architect & Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, to house the New York Training School for Teachers. The Training School became the New York Teachers Training College from 1931 to 1933. That school was abolished during the Depression when there was a surplus of teachers for the city's school system, and Mayor LaGuardia used the opportunity to create the High School of Music & Art.

Architecturally, the building blends in with the older gothic revival buildings of the City College campus, designed by noted architect George B. Post around 1900 to create a setting that came to be known as “the poor man’s Harvard.”

Music & Art graduates often refer to the building as "The Castle," a reference to the design of its gothic towers, and the decorative gargoyles done in a quirky and playful style that the Landmarks Commission report describes as “finials in the shape of creatures bearing shields.” The tower rooms have dramatic acoustics, which Music & Art used as choral practice rooms. The large gymnasium features large Tudor-arch-shaped windows on two sides that at certain times during the day stream sunlight into the room. The auditorium has excellent acoustics, and features diamond-shaped amber windows that during daylight cast a warm glow on its dark wood interior. The iron ends of the auditorium seats have a casting with an image of the Tudor window arches in the gymasium.

According to the Landmark Commission report, this was not an expensive building for its time, and many of the structural components (like the staircase bracings in the stairwell) were left exposed to save money. Yet lots of thought went into humanizing the space and creating a good environment for learning, with plenty of natural light and air, expansive collaborative spaces, and lots of playful decoration thrown in for good measure:

“The five- and six-story (plus basement and central tower) L-shaped New York Training School for Teachers/New York Model School was designed in an abstracted contemporary Collegiate Gothic style and clad in limestone and mottled buff-to brown iron-spot brick, with large window bays filled with unusual folding-casement steel sash windows. Exterior articulation, divided vertically by pavilions, buttresses, and square towers, also differentiated the model school and training school portions, as well as a 'churchlike' wing housing an auditorium above which is a gymnasium.”

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the movie "Fame"

From Wikipedia

Fame is a 1980 American musical film conceived and produced by David De Silva and directed by Alan Parker. Its screenplay is by Christopher Gore, its choreography by Louis Falco and musical score by Michael Gore. The film follows a group of students through their studies at the New York High School of Performing Arts. The film is split into sections corresponding to auditions, freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. The film ranked #42 on Entertainment Weekly's 2006 list of the "50 Best High School Movies".

The film has spawned a television series and spin-off, a stage musical that has played all over the world since 1988 when it premiered at the Coconut Playhouse in Florida, a reality competition series, and a 2009 film remake.

From imdb - trivia

The school is based on the real-life Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan. It is a public school, and therefore available to any New York City high school student who successfully auditions.

Albert Hague was an actual teacher at the school when he was hired on a whim to play Benjamin Shorofsky, a role that resurrected his acting career.

See also: "A "Fame" Screening in Central Park Draws Alumni Extras" New York Times, August 25, 2015.

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Notable alumni

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resources

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Anxious to meet your classmates here on Geni?

Join the High School of Music & Art chatroom

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