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 Lincoln Center 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 has 2,519 students and 163 staff members, with a teacher-student ratio of 1:15.
The music department features two symphony orchestras, five choirs, four string ensembles, two concert bands, a chamber group, a show choir, an opera company with pit orchestra and an experimental composition class in new music. Music students take on the upward of three hours of music classes a day, between performing ensembles, electives (in areas such as music technology and popular songwriting) and traditional music theory and history. The department has done featured work with composers and organizations such as Eric Whitacre, Josh Groban, Arturo O'Farrill, Béla Fleck and NPR's Radiolab. In 2011, the Broadway musical team of Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin announced a musical with LaGuardia's Opera Workshop and Pit Orchestra. The musical, entitled 'Life of the Party,' is a comedy based on Stalinist movie musicals of the Soviet Union. The work was set to premiere at LaGuardia in May 2012, and ran from May 3 through May 6.
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).