“Establishing an official music program at NOVA Academy has been our long-term goal. We are very grateful to Guitar Center Music Foundation for graciously donating these instruments that will have a positive and lasting impact on our students’ success,” said Renée Lancaster, CEO of NOVA Academy.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (PRWEB) April 19, 2023
Joyous, cathartic yells—or “gritos”—will fill the halls of NOVA Academy Early College High School when mariachi comes to the school as its first official music program.
A special assembly heralding the program’s arrival was held Thursday, April 13, at the school, which is located at 500 W. Santa Ana Blvd in Santa Ana. Mariachi Joya, an electrifying 20-member student mariachi band from Las Vegas High School, performed during the assembly to generate excitement and inspire the student body. The new mariachi program has been made possible through a generous donation of instruments, including 18 Guitars, 6 Vihuelas and 6 Guitarróns from the Guitar Center Music Foundation.
“Establishing an official music program at NOVA Academy has been our long-term goal. We are very grateful to Guitar Center Music Foundation for graciously donating these instruments that will have a positive and lasting impact on our students’ success,” said Renée Lancaster, CEO of NOVA Academy. "It’s well-documented that music plays an essential role in overall student growth. Our new mariachi program will unlock students’ creative expression to explore their culture and engage them to embrace their academics in exciting new ways.”
“Our mission is to give everyone the power to create and express themselves through music,” said Myka Miller, executive director, Guitar Center Music Foundation. “We deeply admire NOVA Academy for placing value on establishing a mariachi program and are proud to support the school’s students as they explore this important cultural and musical tradition.”
Mariachi is widely considered to be the quintessential Mexican folk music and a significant aspect of Mexican culture passed down through the generations. Possessing a unique blend of different musical styles, including Spanish, indigenous, and African influences, mariachi music incorporates diverse sounds and instruments that make it stand out from other types of music. And for many Mexican Americans, it is a source of pride and community connections.
Lancaster believes the new mariachi program will be warmly received by NOVA Academy students, 97 percent of whom are Latino. Established as a tuition-free charter school serving students grades 9-12 from Santa Ana and throughout Orange County, California, NOVA Academy has long emphasized a rigorous curriculum dedicated to academics and college readiness. This focus has enabled students to rise above their personal hurdles, often becoming the first in their families to complete high school and attend college.
Buoyed by its success, school administrators most recently expanded programming to include new athletic, art, and STEM student opportunities, to encourage whole-child development. David Jewell, a NOVA Academy Children’s Foundation advisory board member, saw this expansion as an opportunity to bring music—and its many benefits—to NOVA Academy students. He subsequently spearheaded the effort to bring a mariachi program to the school with the help and generosity of the Guitar Center Foundation.
“I was fortunate to meet several NOVA Academy students during their senior exit interviews to learn how they’ve grown and how the school had a positive impact on them,” said Jewell, an accomplished musician. “This experience was enlightening—so much so that it made me realize that adding music to their lives was the key to building even greater success stories among future students.”
For more information about NOVA Academy Early College High School and the new mariachi program, please visit https://www.nova-academy.org/santaana/
About NOVA Academy
Since 2005, NOVA Academy Early College High School has provided a rigorous yet nurturing learning environment, giving students the unique opportunity to earn college credits while completing high school. A tuition-free charter school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), NOVA Academy instills a culture of college readiness while sustaining nearly a 100% graduation rate each year. NOVA Academy proudly serves approximately 600 students annually through Santa Ana and Coachella, California, campus locations. Founded on the belief that education opens the door to hope and the development of strong leaders, we offer a personalized approach to helping students succeed academically and in life.
About NOVA Academy Children’s Foundation
The NOVA Academy Children’s Foundation supports the college dreams of students at NOVA Academy through enriched educational experiences, community involvement, and financial sustainability.
About the Guitar Center Music Foundation
The Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF) is a non-profit charity organization focused on granting instruments and equipment to musicians and music education and music therapy programs. GCMF supports music education programs nationally by providing those in need with instruments and by advocating the benefits of music education. Since its inception in 2005, the foundation has put instruments in the hands of over 300,000 persons nationwide through donations to qualifying music education and music therapy programs.