Girard Academic Music Program
|Girard Academic Music Program|
|22nd & Ritner Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145
|Founder||Dr. Jack Carr|
|School district||The School District of Philadelphia|
|Color(s)||Kelly Green & Blue|
GAMP covers grades five through twelve, and offers many extracurricular activities including: concert band, orchestra, chamber strings, jazz band, concert choir, high school and middle school choirs, middle school band, theatre productions, instrumental lessons for beginners. GAMP offers an advanced placement course in Music Theory.
Principal Carol Domb administers the school. The school is broken up into three primary aspects: Music Theory/Music Technology, which every student must take, Instrumental, and Vocal training.
Edgar Allan Poe School
Edgar Allan Poe School, May 2010
|Location||2136 Ritner St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Area||1 acre (0.40 ha)|
|Built by||Charles McCaul Co.|
|Architect||Henry deCoursey Richards|
|Architectural style||Tudor Revival, Jacobean|
|MPS||Philadelphia Public Schools TR|
|NRHP Reference #||86003318|
|Added to NRHP||December 4, 1986|
The Girard Academic Music Program began operation in September 1974 as an alternative program within the Stephen Girard School at 18th and Snyder Avenue. It began with one 4th and one 5th grade class of approximately 55 students, 2 academic teachers, 1 teacher’s aide and 1 music teacher/coordinator. They were the pioneers who initiated the academic and musical success of the school. Over its lifetime, the school has been based in several locations. From its inception until 1976, it was located in the Trinity Church Parish House at 18th & Wolf Streets). In 1976, it moved to the Armory, now owned by St. Rita’s Church, located at Broad & Wharton Streets.
Since 1979, the school has been located in the former Edgar Allen Poe School at 22nd & Ritner Streets, in the Girard Estate neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The building was designed by Henry deCoursey Richards and built in 1913–1914. It is a four-story, five bay, brick and limestone building on a raised basement in the Tudor Revival-style. It features a three-bay, projecting center section with an arched limestone entrance, decorative panels, and a parapet with battlement cuts.It is currently know now as the Girard Academic Music Program. It was named for author Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe school was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
As one of the first Small Learning Communities, GAMP has grown to its present size of a staff of 30 and over 500 students that include grades 5 through 12. The unique school organization has all students as “music majors” providing the framework for the development of a strong academic and musical program. With a 97–100% college acceptance rate among each senior class and scholarships valued at over one to two million dollars yearly, GAMP continues to grow in stature within the city of Philadelphia.
All students at GAMP participate in a musical component. This participation develops their musicianship and teaches them how to work together in an ensemble. GAMP students engage in a triad of musical fields. Those being Choral, Instrumental, and Theory.
All students participate in choir. There are three choirs: Middle School Choir, High School Choir, and Concert Choir (for which students must audition). It is the Concert Choir that does most outside school performances and travels nationally and internationally.
The Instrumental Music Department consists of several instrumental genres from the Marching Band to micro ensembles. The department's emphasis is in developing the individuality of its student’s talents. The ethnicity of the student body and staff allow for creativity in varied musical styles from Jazz, Swing, to the Classics.
All students have three periods of Music Theory weekly. Students are grouped by grade level and ability. In theory class, students lean the basic building blocks of music, including sight singing and ear training. Students who advance to the top level by their junior and senior year, can take the Advanced Placement Music Theory Exam. Those whose scores qualify them receive college credit.
All students participate in a choir activity. There are three choirs: Middle School Choir, High School Choir, and Concert Choir (for which students must audition). It is the Concert Choir that does most outside school performances and travels nationally and internationally.
The students study a variety of choral repertoires, ranging from Classical, to Jazz, to Pop, to Broadway music. The Concert Choir has traveled and performed extensively. Travels include: San Francisco, Chicago, Colorado, Montreal, Florida, the Bahamas, a two-week tour of Italy (including Florence, Venice, and Rome) and a two-week tour of Germany and France. The Concert Choir has performed for United States President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the Philadelphia Phillies, former Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, former Mayors of Philadelphia John Street and Michael Nutter, Tom Corbett, and many other local political and district officials. Several students from GAMP performed at the inauguration for Jim Kenney, the current mayor of Philadelphia.
The GAMP Instrumental Music Department consists of several instrumental genres from the Marching Band to micro ensembles. The department's emphasis is in developing the individuality of its students’ talents. The ethnicity of the student body and staff allow for creativity in varied musical styles from Jazz, Swing, to the Classics.
GAMP offers various ensembles from beginners to the more advanced. They include: The Grace Notes (a beginning string ensemble), Middle School Strings, Chamber Strings, String Quartet High School Orchestra, Middle School Band, Swing Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Concert Band. Performances involve the program in many community services such as String Quartet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Nexus Foundation),Side by Side performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Swing Band at the Rittenhouse Square (Flower Show), Jazz Band (Combo) at the Warwick Hotel, and the Marching Band in the annual Philadelphia Columbus Day Parade.
The GAMP mascot is the Pioneer. The mascot was named in a contest with Robert Fiss's selection of "Pioneers". "Quakers" was the second choice. The Pioneer was chosen because pioneers were courageous and contributed to the growth of this nation. GAMP is a pioneer in the field of education, by instilling in every student, the art of music, making it a rarity in the School District of Philadelphia. Much like the Pioneers contributed to the growth of this nation by courageously settling unknown frontiers, GAMP contributes to the growth of young minds.
The school has cross country, baseball, tennis, basketball, softball, and cheerleading.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes B. Mintz (July 1986). "Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form: Edgar Allan Poe School" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-03.