GRAMMY AWARD WINNER NOTIFICATION; NYC TEEN NAMED WINNER OF FIRST HIGH SCHOOL GRAMMY AWARD
GRAMMY AWARD WINNER NOTIFICATION;
NYC TEEN NAMED WINNER OF FIRST HIGH SCHOOL GRAMMY AWARD
NEW YORK, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) today named 17-year-old trumpeter Michael Leonhart, a member of the 1992 McDonald's All-American High School Band, winner of the first-ever Grammy High School Student Music Award.
"Michael symbolizes what the Grammy High School Student Music Award is all amount, which is exceptional talent, dedication and enthusiasm for music," said Michael Greene, president of The Recording Academy. "We're extremely proud of his much deserved achievement and look forward to following his promising music career."
Leonhart, a senior at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City, was presented the award by 20-time Grammy award winner Henry Mancini, conductor of the McDonald's Band, during its debut performance at the high school yesterday.
Leonhart was chosen as recipient of the award by a panel of recording academy members and music educators.
"I'm thrilled," said the jubilant teen. "To be chosen from among the many fine musicians representing the McDonald's All American Band is truly a great honor."
Leonhart was one of 25 members named to the McDoanld's All American Band in mid-January. Members were selected from a group of 53 state finalists -- one from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands -- by the recording academy in mid-December.
"Our new partnership with the recording academy allows us to continue our 26-year tradition of honoring top young musicians such as Michael," said Ed Rensi, president and CEO, McDonald's USA. "We join with the academy in saluting Michael's accomplishments."
Among numerous awards and recognitions, Leonhart was named to the McDonald's Tri-State Jazz Band each of the past three years. He was the Level One award winner for Jazz Trumpet in the 1992 National Arts Recognition and Talent Search (NARTS) and winner of the 1991 Jon (Faddis) Young Jazz Trumpeter Award. He was named to the New York All- State Jazz Band in 1991, and the All-City Jazz Band each of the past five years.
Leonhart has also won four Down Beat Magazine Student Awards: 1991 Outstanding Jazz Composer and Outstanding Jazz Arranger, and 1990 Outstanding Jazz Soloist and Outstanding Jazz Composer.
The multitalented teen excels in the classroom as well as the bandroom, earning academic honors for maintaining a 95 grade point average.
Through a new partnership between McDonald's and the recording academy, members of the All-American Band were flown to New York City from across the country to perform at various events taking place during Grammy Week, Feb. 19-25.
McDonald's established its All-American Band in 1966 to recognize outstanding high school musicians with an "All-American" status usually reserved for top athletes. During its 26-year history, more than 75,000 students have been nominated to the band by their high school band and music directors. The band itself has more than 2,500 alumni.
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Inc. is a non- profit organization comprising more than 8,000 individual members. Since 1958, the recording academy has recognized excellence in the recording industry by awarding its prestigious Grammy -- a golden statuette that is a composite of early gramophones. The "34th Annual Grammy Awards" show will be televised on Tuesday, Feb. 25, on CBS.
/CONTACT: McDonald's Public Relations (through Feb. 26 at Omni Park Central), 212-247-8000, ext. 2565; after Feb. 26, Susan Bergen of McDonald's, 708-575-5615, or Todd Winking of Golin/Harris Communications, 312-836-7139, for McDonald's/ CO: National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; McDonald's ST: New York IN: ENT SU: SH -- NY064 -- 2425 02/25/92 14:26 EST