University High School (Irvine, California)

University High School (Irvine, California)

Infobox Secondary school
name = University High School
motto= Unity through Diversity
type = Public secondary
grades = 9–12
established= 1970
city = Irvine
state = California
country = USA
enrollment = about 2,600
mascot = Trojan
colors = colorbox|royalblue colorbox|white Navy Blue, Columbia Blue, and White
principal = John Pehrson
television station = KUHS/Univision
newspaper = The Sword and Shield
magazine = Olympia
website = []

University High School (UHS or "Uni") is one of four public high schools serving grades 9-12 located in the city of Irvine, California. It was established in 1970. The campus is situated on approximately 50 acres (200,000 m²) of land in the southwestern portion of the city, adjacent to the University of California, Irvine (UCI), from which the high school derives its name. The school comprises four main academic buildings, a performing arts theater, a band room for instrumental music, a swimming pool, eight tennis courts, two sand volleyball courts, an indoor gymnasium supplemented with other indoor athletic facilities, a 400-m outdoor track, and several practice fields. When opened, the architecture of UHS was virtually identical to that of Mission Viejo High School 12.5 miles (20 kM) to the southeast. Housed within these facilities are the departments of English, world languages, math, science, social science, instrumental music, art, industrial technology, athletics, physical education, English proficiency programs, special education, and the Orange County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. The school's mission is "to provide all students with the opportunities and environment to achieve academic and personal excellence while assuring that this is done in a safe and comfortable atmosphere." The school colors are Navy blue, Columbia blue, and white. The school mascot is the Trojan.


On November 29, 2007 University High School ranked 76th Best High School in the country out of over 18,000 public schools that were ranked. [ [ U.S. News and World Report article] ] Being in the top 100, University High School is considered a "Gold Medal School".

In May 1987, University High School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an exemplary school in the Secondary School Recognition Program. In 1988 and 1992, Uni was similarly recognized as a California State Distinguished School. University was accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for six years in 2004.

The school has consistently made Newsweek's list of Top High Schools. [ [ The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,300 top U.S. schools] in Newsweek] In 2005, the school ranked 117th out of the top 1000 high schools. [ [ Schools 10-200 from 2005] in Newsweek] In Newsweek's 2006 list, the school ranked 156th out of 1,200 top high schools, [ [ 100-200 of 1236 fro m2006] in Newsweek] and in 2007, Uni was ranked 186th. [ [ Showing 100-200 of 1351 Schools from 2007] in Newsweek]

Academic teams

University High school is often noted for its various academic teams, including Physics Bowl, Science Bowl, Science Olympiad, Model United Nations, and math competitions (including ARML, and Math Day at the Beach). University High School is also home to the largest and one of the most distinguished Junior Classical Leagues in the nation.

Deaf program

University High School hosts a relatively large number of deaf students. The program is known as "DHH" for deaf and hard of hearing.

Performing arts

University High School offers a wide variety of performing arts to its students. Three levels of dance are offered. Choir, Ceramics, Photography, Art, and Film Production are also available to students. Music classes include Guitar, Keyboarding, and AP Music Theory.

Marching Band and Colorguard

Uni has an award-winning marching band and colorguard program. The UHS Marching Band is the only marching band in the IUSD that practices after school-all others practice before school. The marching band is an equavilant to a varsity sport at Uni.

Currently ranked in the 4A division with over 120 members, the University HS Trojan Marching Band received a first place in the 2006 Loara HS Field Show Competition for its show "." On November 3, 2007, the band and colorguard received a first place award out of four bands and also received a "High Music" award at the Huntington Beach HS Competition. The drumline received a "High Percussion" award, a prestigious honor for the Uni Drumline to receive.Past Marching Band Shows:

* 2008 - "Pipes and Puddles" by Darren Loney; directed by Corey Heddon and Darren Loney
* 2007 - "Vesuvius: The Destruction of Pompeii" by Frank Ticheli; directed by Brandon Johnson and Darren Loney
* 2006 - "Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba"; directed by Brandon Johnson
* 2005 - "Highlights from Chicago"
* 2004 - "Music from Santana"
* 2003 - "Carmen"; directed by Gayle Bentley
* 2002 - "New World Symphony"; directed by Peter Fournier
* 2001 - "Hero"; directed by Peter Fournier
* 2000 - "Fantasia 2000"; directed by Peter Fournier
* 1999 - "On Broadway"; directed by Peter Fournier

Instrumental music

University High School has three concert wind bands: Concert Band (Beginning), Symphonic Band (Intermediate), and Wind Ensemble (Elite). The Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble are audition-only classes. Entry into the Wind Ensemble is highly competitive as there are many talented auditionees, but there are only few spots open. Many dedicated students in the Wind Ensemble are accepted into local/state, and sometimes even national Honor Orchestras/Wind Ensembles. In 2003, under the direction of new director Gayle Bentley, the UHS Wind Ensemble started receiving "Unanimous Superior" scores on their Southern California Schools Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) festival performance ratings for every single performance up to 2007.

The UHS orchestra is the largest public high school symphony orchestra in Orange County, California and, like the Wind Ensemble, annually sends scores of students to All-Southern, All-State, and All National Honor Orchestras.Fact|date=October 2007 There are three orchestras: String Orchestra (Beginning), Concert Orchestra (Intermediate), and Symphony Orchestra (Advanced). Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra require an audition. The Symphony Orchestra is augmented by the best wind players and percussionists from the Wind Ensemble. The Symphony Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall in 2002 with then instrumental music director, Peter Fournier.


University High School is also known throughout Southern California for its quality theater productions.Fact|date=October 2007 University High is particularly known for the mounting of its full-scale annual spring musicals. The theater department is currently led by Darryl B. Hovis, Co-Founder of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts in Culver City. The University High School Theatrical Department produced Antigone Resurrected, which opened on November 13. UHS has even produced several regional premieres of new works. These Southern California premieres include Side Show (2002) and Bat Boy the Musical (2003). Past award-winning productions include Miss Saigon (2006), which featured a helicopter descending on stage as well as a Cadillac car. Les Miserables (2003) featured a mechanical turntable and an intricate war barricade. Singin' in the Rain (2001) featured an elaborate raining set. In 2006, the production of Urinetown won awards at the Fullerton College Theatre Festival. In 1985, Elizabeth Swados powerful musical "Runaways" was staged, winning 8 M.A.C.Y. awards, including best ensemble. 1985 was the first year University High School was invited to attend the International Thespian Festival, featuring 12 of the best high school musical productions in the Nation. The cast and crew of "Runaways" were honored by the City of Irvine for their Outstanding Achievement in the Arts upon their return.

Previous seasons:
*2008- A History of the American Film, Into the Woods
*2007- High School Musical, iMusical, Resurrecting Antigone
*2006- Miss Saigon, Urinetown
*2005- Disney's Beauty and the Beast
*2004- Cabaret, Songs for a New World
*2003- Les Miserables, Bat Boy the Musical
*2002- Side Show
*2001- Singin' in the Rain
*2000- Carousel
*1999- Grease

*1990- The Wiz
*1989- A Flea in Her Ear, Nine
*1988- Midsummer Nights Dream, Revenge of the Space Pandas, Evita
*1987- Greater Tuna (canceled), Amadeus, Cabaret
*1986- Sweeney Todd
*1985- Runaways, Godspell
*1984- Charile's Aunt, Wonderful Town
*1983- Picnic, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
*1982- The Skin of Our Teeth, Music Man

tudent body

The make-up of the student body is 51.5% Asian, 39.8% Caucasian, 4.2% Hispanic, 1.8% African American, 1.5% Filipino, .4% Pacific Islander, and .2% American Indian. University High School is attended by students from more than sixty countries who speak over forty native languages.

95% of the 2003 UHS graduates entered post-secondary institutions of which 62% entered four-year universities and colleges. Thirty-three percent entered community colleges, of whom many plan to transfer to four-year institutions. Fifty percent of the students in the class of 2003 were accepted to schools in the University of California (UC) system and 31.5% are attending one of the UC schools. Eighteen percent were accepted to California State University campuses, with 6% attending. Five percent of the students enrolled in vocational training, joined the U.S. military, returned to their native countries, or planned to work or travel. [ [ 2006-2007 School Profile] ]

Notable alumni

*Joey Allen (Joe Cagle) - Lead Guitarist for the band Warrant
*Garrett Atkins - Major League Baseball player for the Colorado Rockies
*Eddie Breckenridge - Bass Guitarist of Thrice
*Riley Breckenridge - Drummer of Thrice
*Ian Burke - Porn actor, Burlesque star
*Landon Chi - Director and creator of Television shows
*Tim Commerford - Bassist Rage Against the Machine, former bassist of Audioslave
*David Engel - Broadway actor - original cast member of La Cage aux Folles and Forever Plaid
*Will Ferrell - Hollywood actor and former Saturday Night Live cast member
*Murphy Karges - Bass Player for Sugar Ray
*Eric Leviton - Broadway Actor - touring company of Chicago the musical as "Amos Hart"
*Martin Leung - Also known as the Video Game Pianist
*Ben Maller - Sports Radio Personality
*Cady McClain - Actress, formerly "Dixie" on All My Children & "Rosanna" on As the World Turns
*Nicole Parker - MadTV cast member and comedian
*Shar Pourdanesh - Former NFL player (Redskins, Steelers, Raiders) 1st Iranian born player.
*Zach de la Rocha - Lead singer of Rage Against the Machine
*Rodney Shepard - Sugar Ray musician
*Dita Von Teese - AKA Heather Sweet, Burlesque star and fashion model, divorced from Marilyn Manson.
*Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh - sociologist and urban ethnographer
*Tim Wallach - Former Major League Baseball player and Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach
*Michael West - Sports Radio Personality at KASR Tempe, AZ


Charlie Engel, Executive Vice-President, Programming, NBC Universal Television Studio

External links

* [ University High School]
* [ UHS Instrumental Music]
* [ UHS Football]
* [ UHS Theatre]

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