Diamond Bar – “American Idol” Host, Ryan Seacrest, came to Diamond Bar High School to celebrate Instrumental Music Director, Steve Acciani, a national semifinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.
The Grammy Foundation and Ford Motor Company presented the special event on November 11.
KIIS-FM – with Manny on the Streets – entertained families with concert tickets, CD give-a-ways, and line dances as they awaited the celebrity’s arrival. The DBHS Color Guard and Band performed “Happy” when Seacrest arrived before a huge crowd of fans at 1 p.m.
Seacrest, the Honorary Grammy Foundation Chair, greeted music teacher Acciani on stage.
“We want to congratulate you and thank you for all you do,” Seacrest said.
Acciani said that he was a bit nervous speaking in front of the crowd.
“I usually have my back to the audience,” the Music Director quipped.
Acciani said that he was extremely grateful for the support of the program.
“I think the whole community embraces what the arts can do for our students and they’re incredibly supportive. It adds so much academically and gives the students a way to express themselves.”
The event featured 700 instrumental music students who played during the fundraising festival.
DBHS partnered with Ford Motor Company and Fairway Ford for the Drive 4 UR School national test drive program to help raise money for the school’s outstanding music program. During the one-day event, $20 (up to $6,000) was donated for every person who test-drove one of the 2015 models including the Flex, Fusion, F-150, Escape, Explorer, and C-MAX.
Two excited Brahmas were plucked from the audience to go on a test drive with Seacrest.
“It was fantastic! He’s a great guy,” exclaimed senior Will Nazareno, a 17-year old tuba player after the ride of his life. Nazareno then described his award-winning music teacher.
“Mr. Acciani is such a pride for Diamond Bar High!” he said. “He helps us with everything we do; he guides us, and serves as our light.”
Senior flutist, Bridget Pei, drove to the local In-N-Out with the television star.
“I got a cheeseburger and Ryan got the healthy choice, a protein burger.” The crew at In-N-Out was a little shaken up by the surprise visit, she explained.
“They were so excited that when they gave us the change, they dropped the money, so we had to go outside and get it.”
Pei is thrilled her teacher received the national award.
“There’s no other band director in the entire world that deserves it more that he does. Mr. A (as he is known) dedicates his heart and soul into this program.”
The community lined up to support the Drive 4 UR School program.
“Anything I can do to help raise money for the school, I’m willing to do. And to test drive a car is a great opportunity to try out a new vehicle,” said DBHS English teacher Stacy Tenace.
“I’m excited about any creative ways they can raise funds for the kids. So this is great!” said band parent, Sam Ocon, just before driving a new Ford Fusion.
Several guest musicians joined the Commercial Music Program rock band performance including Dramarama singer, John Easdale, and Oingo Boingo drummer, Johnny Vatos.
One of the day’s highlights was when Acciani played the saxophone during the classic, “Dead Man’s Party.”
Acciani was selected as one of 25 semifinalists out of more than 7,000 nominations from all 50 states. The Music Educator Award recognizes educators who have made a significant and long lasting contribution to music education in the schools.
Finalists will be named in December. The national winner will be announced live at the Grammy Awards in February.