Las Vegas Academy Guitar Program
Directed by Bill Swick
The Las Vegas Academy has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a "New American High School" and a "Blue Ribbon School". LVA is a ten-time Grammy Award Winning school and the only school in the nation to be awarded the Grammy seven consecutive years including eight "Gold GRAMMYS." The LVA Guitar Program is also the recipient of the Gibson Music Education Award. LVA was one of the first schools to be recognized as one of the top three high school guitar programs in the nation. Watch the 2010 GRAMMY presentation.
Watch the most recent coverage on Channel 8 News.
Watch the most recent coverage on Channel 3 News.
The guitar department was added in the 2002-03 school year. Students must audition for acceptance into the school. (See LVA Audition Guidelines).
Members of the advanced guitar class have performed at three national NAMM conventions, two national MENC conventions, seven national guitar festivals and numerous national conventions held in Las Vegas along with the regularly scheduled on-campus performances. (See LVA Guitar Performance Schedule)
LVA guitar students can be seen in two DVD's, one produced by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, the other produced by GAMA. To see the GAMA video, click: watch GAMA video and then click "video"
Only 28 guitar students in the state of Nevada qualified for All-State in 2003. All but two of those students were LVA guitar majors. During the 2003-04 school year, 49 LVA guitar students qualified for All-State and the LVA Guitar Quartet received Command Performance at the annual NMEA Conference. This was the first guitar ensemble in the state of Nevada to receive such an honor.
In 2006, LVA guitar student, David Malone, was the first solo guitar student to receive Command Performance at the NMEA annual conference. LVA guitar student, Becky Neher, was awarded the national DownBeat Magazine Award for outstanding high school classical soloist. In 2007, Amanda Caporicci received Command Performance at the NMEA annual conference. Also, the advanced guitar ensemble was selected to perform at the national Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) conference in October, 2007. In 2008, the Junior Guitar Quartet consisting of Alex Lamonte, Katrina Leshan, Brandon Russo and Andrew Silva received Command Performance at the NMEA annual conference. And, in 2009 Katrina Leshan took Command Performance as a solo guitarist.
To learn more about the history of the guitar program at LVA, click The History of the Las Vegas Academy Program 2002-2013, The First Eleven Years. (This is more than 100-page document and takes a few minutes to load.)