HB APA celebrates silver jubilee

The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts at Huntington Beach High School began its impressive journey in the heart of Orange County, California way back in 1993. Originally dubbed the School for Performing Arts (SPA), the name was changed in 1996, and APA was born. Since 1993 this highly regarded program for high school students has provided arts education and entertainment to the Surf City community and beyond. The school’s mission from the very start has been to provide a creative education that cultivates in students the focus, dedication and collaboration necessary to achieve limitless excellence in the arts. It is with much pride this year culminates in twenty-five years of growth and success, and a highly celebrated 25th Silver Anniversary.
APA recently celebrated their impressive 25th Anniversary milestone this April with its alumni students, parents, staff and faculty by presenting a revival of APA’s very first play, Noises Off! In addition to this spectacular play, a new Huntington Beach landmark was unveiled in the upstairs foyer of the Huntington Beach Union High School District auditorium. This historic mural, by local artist Melissa Murphy (2002 alumni of HBUHSD, a graduate from Edison High School), is a representation of Huntington Beach through the ages, showing various stages of historical points in Surf City, USA. The artwork represents Surf City in the 1900s-1930s, moving into the 1950s-1970s, and ending in modern day Huntington Beach, including Jack’s Surfboards, Pacific City, Huntington Beach Police Department, Huntington Beach Fire Department, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach Public Library, International Surfing Museum, Ruby’s Diner, Huntington Beach Civic Center, Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, Golden West College, Old World Village, Newland House, Duke’s Restaurant, and Surf City Seniors.
The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts is continuing its mission by “igniting the creative artists of the future.” APA is known for its award-winning theatre and musical theatre shows, accomplished dance program, strong orchestra, innovative Music Media and Entertainment Technology (MMET) program, and professional-grade, career-oriented Technical Theatre and Costume Design departments. HB APA provides master-level instruction in classical and popular music, dance, acting, playwriting, costume design and stagecraft to approximately 740 students each year. APA is the arts magnet program for the Huntington Beach Union High School District and its students take part in a huge variety of performances, awards ceremonies and various competitions in the district’s landmark auditorium and bell tower (built in 1926), always striving to represent the spirit and pride of the Surf City community.
The Academy for the Performing Arts is a proven, award-winning blueprint for success that offers outstanding, innovative, exemplary programs that address today’s modern performing art student’s changing needs. Each of APA’s nine top notch departments provide students with a wide range of classes, outings and specialized training; combining all aspects of instruction to put on numerous stage shows that are completely performed and produced by students in the program, achieving a level of acting, dance, modern music, orchestra and technical production rarely seen in high school, or even at the college level.
It is APA’s strong belief that performing arts are an integral part of educational opportunities for those that live in and around the Orange County and Los Angeles areas, home to much of our nation’s entertainment industry. It is this shared belief that brings forth hundreds of talented young hopefuls who audition for the Academy each year. The auditioning process is highly professional, rigorous, nerve wracking, and less than half that apply are accepted. In the end, APA boasts the cream of the crop of aspiring actors, theatre technicians, costumers, media talent, musicians, singers, and dancers. APA students are constantly learning by doing, and earning opportunities to perform in a variety of programs, dance concerts, plays, musicals and performing arts events open to the public.
The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts program inspires an environment of creativity and students definitely benefit from being surrounded by like-minded peers, instructors and staff who share a deep passion for making and celebrating art. This is a place where students can strive for excellence and really engage in their own learning experience, ultimately creating a range of options for continued education, and quite possibly a career in the arts. However, regardless of whether a student continues to study or go for more, APA believes that as a result of immersing themselves in a creative arts environment in high school, these students will always be appreciative and supportive of the arts.
It can be said that few schools do it better than APA and on any given weekday at Huntington Beach High School there is a veritable riot of artistic activity happening. Whether it’s backstage with power tools, props and paint, or in the costume shop with dress forms, fabric and the whir of sewing machines, or in the black box with actors running their lines, or in the media studio recording, editing and creating the next gem, or the sound of beautiful music and talented voices filling the hallways of the M-building, sometimes it all seems never ending. Yet all of this emerging talent and colorful energy is what makes the Academy for the Performing Arts one of Southern California’s, and the country’s, best programs for budding young artists. The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts is a true treasure in our own backyard.
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