Skip to main content

All News

Last night was our eighth annual WinterFest Show at Legacy VAPA (WinterFest is it tonight event, Music was last night and Dance is next Friday). The show was important to me, personally, for many reasons. Since this is my fourth year as principal at VAPA, the seniors who performed, have been my students since their freshman year. We started at VAPA together so they have seen all of we have done in the last four years, and that has been extensive. The show marks the first school concert where our marching band got to wear their uniforms. Uniforms are just uniforms, but I think symbolic of how far we have come in the last four years. When I started there was not even a marching band, and look at them now. They are actually starting off the South Gate parade on Sunday, which is a huge deal.

Special congratulations to Mr. Juan Cuevas, Director, for all of his work and starting so many programs that were not at the school for years ago: orchestra, mariachi, jazz band, jazz choir, show choir, and so much more. I was super proud of our ninth graders, many of whom performed their first concert last night! I was super proud of our seniors, especially Anyssa and Nathan who sang so well. I was super grateful for the leadership of our seniors and juniors, especially for officers in the different groups, for their leadership, notably, Ashley and Evelyn with the band and Maria with the jazz choir. I was especially grateful for all the adults who put this together including Mr. Brown, Technical Director, Laura, Julie, and Ines for support in the office, Ms. Grinner for her unwavering support of our programs, my wonderful jazz choir/show choir who performed so beautifully, Ms. Dadrass for helping with tickets, and all the others who assisted.

And, always, it is wonderful to work with Mr. Cuevas, who was one of my top students when I taught Music at Huntington Park High School, as well as an awesome TA when he graduated. In terms of jazz choir, it was A great feeling to perform one of the early songs I wrote with my wife, the Christmas Dream, which was written by us only a few years after we were married, which is now 36 1/2 years. check out the great photos on our SmugMug site at…/WinterFest--Music--2019


Posted 12/7/19

Congrats cast and crew of “The Seussification of Robeo and Juliet”, the Legacy VAPA 2019 Fall Musical which opened Nov. 13, 2019 with a preview for Tweedy Elementary School. A big thank you to Ms. Craig, director, Mr. Brown, tech director, teachers and staff for support, especially Mr. Cuevas, and family, friends, and our wonderful actors. The show closed Nov. 16. Check out the photos on SmugMug at…/Fall-Play--2019-


Posted 11/17/19

Congratulations to Willow Gramlich, VAPA Science Teacher, who was a nominee for the 2019-20 California League of Schools Educator of the Year. Ms. Gramlich was honored last night at the CLS Educator of the Year Awards Dinner. “It is interesting for me to read through the recommended qualities for the candidate indicated in the nomination form. And, of course, Willow Gramlich, has all of these qualities. She is a knowledgeable of school reform and is up-to date on current trends and practices, in fact, when our school was asked if our science teachers chose to transform our traditional high school science classes in to new Next Generation Science Standards-aligned courses, a year before the rest of the district, Gramlich was the first teacher to sign-up. As the department chair of a small school, her support for her colleagues extends far beyond her department. Our staff knows if they want to see a solid teacher, teaching to standards, in a well-organized, super-engaged, and exciting classroom, where students are accountable for their learning, and they participate in rigorous work across the grades, they have no further to look than at Gramlich’s classroom. There is no question that she is teaching to standards as they are not only displayed on her board with the agenda, but the students’ know what they are learning, why they are learning it, and how to be successful in learning it. Ask any of the students in class and they’ll tell you, like they told me! Technology is also utilized from the book-reader projecting visuals to the online resources she shares with her students. She embraces our school-wide strategies such as arts integration and is the first to demonstrate how she approaches this work. And she follows our bell schedule closely, ist the first to advocate for more instructional time while supporting our students in their many live performance obligations.” Dr. Edward Trimis,


Posted 11/17/19

Enrolling at Legacy Visual and Performing Arts High School is easy! The best way to make your enrollment quick and painless is to call the office at 323-357-7531 and ask for our courteous office staff tp walk you through the process. We have these types of enrollees: Zone of Choice regular students (who live in the South Gate or Bell areas), students who are given permits who live INSIDE LAUSD and students given permits who live OUTSIDE of LAUSD. Call 323-357-7531 for more info. Check out our several Zone of Choice videos plus MORE recruitment videos on our YouTube Playlist at




Posted 11/3/19

CONGRATULATIONS Clarissa Gaeta and Nathalie Moreno, finalists for the 2019, Show Search original musicals competition sponsored by the Foundation for New American Musicals! Their musical, The Hardest Goodbye, will be competing with two other musicals in the high school division.

Clarissa and Nathalie are each receiving a $500 scholarship and are being mentored by a professional musical theatre composer, Brett Ryback ("Joe Schmoe Saves the World"), and will be competing in the Show Search Finals at UCLA on October 12 for another $500 scholarship and bragging rights for the year!



Thank you to Ms. Craig for the work you are doing in VAPA's Writing for Musicals class and Dr. Trimis for your mentorship and support. In 2017, Maria Hernandez and Jessica Nava, founding members of the Musicals Writing class, went to finals and came in 1st place in the high school division in the Show Search competition. 

Posted 9/22/19

Though graduation and our farewells for the Class of 2019 are less than a month behind us, we are already planning for and excited about the future of VAPA!We are SO excited for the possibilities for the Legacy VAPA Class of 2023! Already, our newest students are showing they have what it takes to succeed in high school, and exemplify our theme for this year, VAPA Rising: Beyond Expectations!

Today our students studying reading, science, and the arts this summer in the expanded bridge program went on a field trip to the California Science Center. They saw an IMAX film on volcanoes, got to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle, and had an opportunity to see some of the science they have been learning in action. Thank you so much to our awesome bridge teachers, who were also the chaperones, Mr. Cuevas, Ms. Craig, Ms. Gramlich, Mr. Avalos, and supported by Beyond the Bell and Manny Hernandez. And thank you to be on the bill for the summer school and summer bridge program and the VAPA community for supporting the arts.


Click for Facebook Story

Posted 6/30/19

The 2019 Commencement Ceremonies for the Wonderful Legacy VAPA Class of 2019 were on June 6 at South Gate Municipal Auditorium. CONGRATS to all of our graduates!

Special thanks to Class Sponsor, Bridgette Spencer, and our office support staff, school support staff, counseling team, and fantastic classroom teachers!


Behind the scenes: what happens before the graduates enter the auditorium for graduation?


Our Commencement Ceremonies have their own special traditions. As the graduates are getting ready to start the procession, they are taking the last few selfies and group pictures, and checking out all of the cap decorations, I play the bagpipes for them. This is a special time for them and I really rarely play at school or events. We also try to have students involved throughout the ceremony. They sing the Star Spangled Banner, the Band plays a feature and the procession, a choir comprised of seniors just for this event perform (Senior Choir), and, this year, our much-loved mariachi ensemble played and led the procession out of the auditorium. I try to include as many students as possible in my speech, highlights experiences shared before giving out a few bits of advice and a quote or 2. On stage, I take as much time as needed to greet my students, sometimes quickly talking to them before they leave the stage, and afterwards, I stay as long as is needed to talk to as many of the graduates as possible and take as many pictures as they want to take with their families. I love graduations. This is the joyous time when we celebrate the growth and success of our students, and it is such a great affirmation of why we do the work we do. Good luck, VAPA Class of 2019. We love you and we'll miss you!   

                                                            - Dr. Edward Trimis, Principal


Photos at SmugMug: Stage Photos for Purchase at Fotorama:

Posted 6/7/19

Mr. Adolfo at the Warner Brothers First Film Festival on 5/28/19




June 3, 2019


Dear Community,


It is with great sadness that I inform you that we were notified that one of our teachers, Nick Adolfo, died. We have received information that the cause of death was a medical condition. After the death of a teacher, young people need more support from their parents and other adults.  This is an especially difficult and emotional time for those who knew the teacher. This loss affects all of us at Legacy VAPA.  If you have questions or have concerns, please contact the school at 323-357-7501.





Dr. Edward Trimis, Principal


Posted 6/3/19

So proud of our Writing For Musicals Program at VAPA. One of the few programs of its kind in the nation, the innovative course teaches students how to write music and lyrics, books and scripts, for musical theater for the stage and screen. Students had the opportunity to see several live musicals this year as they were studying and planning their final projects.

The Original Musicals Showcase featured 4 all original short musicals, 2 all original plays, plus a longer version of Grandma’s Keeper, The Show Search 2017 first prize winner, on Friday, May 17. A true theatre practicum, the shows all feature student actors and are directed by student directors. A huge thank you to Stacie Craig (Theatre Chair) who teaches the class and Miguel Delgado (Tech Theatre) and his students whose students directed and ran tech the shows. Thanks also to our professional panel who reviewed the shows and gave feedback to the writers; Pervis Sawoski (Sant Monica College Theatre Department Chair), Deirdre Marlow (Musical Writer Educator and Foundation for New American Musicals), and Mina Bloom (Professional Author/Composer for Musicals). Photos: More photos:

Posted 5/22/19

Congratulations to Legacy VAPA’s Corazón Hispano and Director Juan Cuevas for hosting the 1st Annual Mariachi Festival at Legacy yesterday! The event featured several groups from all over Los Angeles including a Palmdale middle school, Middleton ES, Marquez HS and more.

A Fun Fact: the Director of the Palmdale group was a student of Mr. Cuevas when he directed the mariachi program at Middleton ES for 10 years! Fun Fact 2: Both Mr. Cuevas and the director from Marquez, Mr. Almader, were Dr. Trimis’ music students at Huntington Park HS in the 90’s (and worked as TA’s in the Music Dept. after graduating). Mr. Almader taught music at HP following Trimis when he became an administrator.

Fun Fact 3: a VIP guest in the audience was Mercedes Felix, a math/choir teacher from San Pedro HS. The connection? Yep, she was also Dr. Trimis’ student at HP!  Facebook Story and Photos

Posted 5/19/19

ASB Election Speeches are here!



Hello, my name is Esmeralda Ceja. I am currently the Vice President of the junior cabinet, and was previously the president. I have been a cheerleader for 3 years. I’m also in leadership and Leader in Me. Being involved in school has brought me to the person I am today. In cheer, we work really hard because we know we are part of something big and we don’t give up because we don’t want to let our team down. I want to be ASB President because I want to see what ideas and suggestions everyone has to put on the table. I want us to be a team. I’m an honest and fair person. #ASBElection#ClassOf2020





Hello, VAPA. My name is Adriana Urbano and I’m running for ASB President for the 2019-2020 school year. I’m involved in my church, directing the choir, and I’m also involved in the school’s Jazz band. Vote for me and it will be a pleasure to work with the school and hopefully with you guys to make changes that will benefit you and your future. Thank you! #ASBElection #ClassOf2020




Hey, VAPA students! My name is Natalie Rios and you guys should@vote for me as your 2019-2020 ASB President. I have been a part of many school activities, such as Link Crew, dance, and theater. I am the type of person who is dedicated and committed. A dream of mine has always been to run for President, so I hope you vote for me! #ASBElections#ClassOf2020


Posted 5/1/19

Congratulations, Legacy Visual and Performing Arts High School Jazz Ensemble, Aurora Showchoir, and Girl Talk Jazz Singers returning Monday evening from a 4-day concert tour to San Diego. The groups performed in a Music in the Parks Festival in Placentia, at the Oceanside Jazz Festival at Mira Costa College, and at Rady Childrens Hospital/Ronald McDonald House in San Diego.

Other highlights of the trip included at visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo, a behind-the-scenes tour of La Jolla Playhouse, and a campus tour of UC San Diego.


The group included 30 students, three chaperones, and three directors. Thank you so much to our hosts in San Diego including staff from Music in the Parks, Mira Costa College, Ronald McDonald House, the La Jolla Playhouse, and UC San Diego, and Maureen Roadman. A huge thank you to our parent chaperones, Ms. Rios, Mr. Zarate, and Ms. Ortiz, to our directors, Mr. Cuevas, and Mr. Olvera.

And thank you to our wonderful students who exhibited model behavior and dedication to their art as they navigated through several concerts and events over the 4 days. As we continue to develop our programs at Legacy VAPA, continuing our efforts to grow into one of the top high school arts schools in the nation among the likes of LACHSA and OCSA, we will be providing these kinds of opportunities to our students on a regular basis. More photos at  Facebook:

Posted 4/17/19

Congratulations to the cast and crew of Little Shop of Horrors, the Legacy Visual and Performing Arts 2019 Spring Musical, which closed last night at the Legacy Performing Arts Center.

Special thanks to all of our families, friends, and supporters; to Kevin Patterson (Musical Director), Juan Cuevas (Assistant Musical Director), Miguel Delgado (Technical Director), and Stacey Craig (Director).

Thanks also to our student leaders, Sahira Romero (Student Director, VAPA, ‘19) and Ashley Arambula (Stage Manager, VAPA, ‘19). We’re super proud of the work our theatre department is doing! Online Playbill may be found at More photos available at 

FB Story  Tweedy ES Show FB Story

Posted 4/7/19

Legacy VAPA, once again, was in the house at this years Eastside Arts Festival, the Arts Event sponsored by LAUSD’s Local District East, on Saturday, March 23, 2019. VAPA had the most groups next to the host school, our partner school, East LA Performing Arts Magnet, including our Mariachi group (Corazón Hispano), Aurora Show Choir, VAPA Theatre Company, Girl Talk (VAPA Jazz Singers), and VAPA Dance Company.

VAPA performers did a remarkable job and did us all proud! Special thanks to parents, families, and friends, many who attended the festival! Special thanks also to Karen Ibarra (VAPA, ‘20), who represented VAPA in meeting the several senior staff and VIPs who were in attendance supporting the event including Monica Garcia (LAUSD School Board President), Dr. Frances Gipson (LAUSD Chief Executive Officer), Frances Baez (LAUSD LDE Administrator of Instruction), Diane Cordingly (LAUSD LDE Arts Specialist) and Dr. Al Webb (LAUSD Innovation).

Special thanks also to Carolyn McKnight (ELAPAM principal) for organizing the event with Ms. Cordingly and for her ongoing support. Thanks to the ELAPAM Upscale Showchoir (Ms. Melissa Rios, Director) for their hospitality hosting the VAPA Showchoir, and to VAPA Artist-Educators who direct the VAPA ensembles: Mr. Marcello Sanna-Pickett (Dance Company), Mr. Juan Cuevas (Mariachi Ensemble), Ms. Stacie Craig (Theatre Company), and Mr. Miguel Delgado (Tech Theatre).

More photos are available at Go to for more info.

Posted 3/24/19

Congrats , newest members of the VAPA Chapter of the National Honor Society who were inducted February 28, 2019.

Students are recommended by their teachers who exemplify the four NHS pillars: scholarship, leadership, service, character. We are super proud of her students. Our NHS chapter is growing and is it a perfect example of the high academic level that you find at Legacy VAPA!

New NHS Members: Carina Ramirez, Ana Fernandez, Adriana Urbano, Abi Aguirre, Gabby Gonzalez, Evelyn Rodriguez, Evangeline Lopez, Ashley Alvarado! #vapasmart


Posted 3/9/19

Congratulations to our Legacy Visual and Performing Arts High School Academic Decathlon Team (ACADECA) for a fantastic final HIPP Workshop yesterday at Roybal Learning Center (High Intellectual Preparedness Program). The HIPP workshops prepare ACADECA teams for the annual competition which concludes next Saturday with the Super Quiz at Roybal.

VAPA thanks Mr. Bill Cathers and Cathers Consulting who lead the workshops. The inspiring pep talk Mr. Cathers gave the students before they presented their speeches and interviews included stories and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, Manny Moda,and John Wooden who was a mentor of Cathers. Some of the reminders and quotes presented include: 
“At the end of your prepared speech, you should look forward to the impromptu and think ‘Time to seal the deal or tone to save the deal’”
“Fail while daring greatly.
Failure is your greatest teacher.”
“High energy, low anxiety.”
“This is a process.”
“Beware the blue devils.”
“You can do it” (Manny Moda)
“It is more important to be compassionate than be competitive” (John Wooden)

Our ACADECA team took their essay last week, this week will take the intense all-day content exam, and Saturday will compete in the speech, interview, and Super Quiz competitions. We wish them the best of luck, are super thankful for all the work Coach Alejandro Avalos has done with the team, and are super proud of our entire ACADECA team!


Facebook Album

Posted 1/27/19

The Legacy VAPA Showchoir (Aurora) and additional VAPA Theatre Arts and Music Majors has the opportunity to see Dear Evan Hansen at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts last night in Costa Mesa. The Dear Evan Hansen Experience includes pre-show and post-show discussions facilitated by Legacy VAPA’s Psychiatric Social Worker, Dr. Irene Lara (who also attended the show), a personal reflection by each participating student, and a question and answer session with the cast after the show.

The critically acclaimed Broadway musical won 6 Tony Awards including the Tony for Best Musical in 2017 (Hamilton won the Best Musical Tony in 2016). VAPA’s Aurora Showchoir is singing two of the show’s songs in their competition season this Spring and the show is studied in depth as part of VAPA’s Writing for Musicals Program. Congrats to the cast and crew for an amazing performance and to Dear Evan Hansen creators, thank you for the question and answer session afterwards, and thank you to attending chaperones, Ms. Stacie Craig (Theatre Arts Chair) and Mr. Andy Olvera (Showchoir/Theatre Arts choreographer and Colorguard Director).

Dear Evan Hansen addresses issues which are prevalent in the lives of young people today including social anxiety, suicude, and the impact of social media). Songs are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who also wrote songs for La La Land and The World’s Greatest Showman) and the book is by Steven Levenson. 

Facebook Album

Posted 1/5/19

Thousands of smiles all over Los Angeles over 33 years. Yes, it has been that long. Dr. Edward Trimis started off in LAUSD as a TA at Huntington Drive Elementary School. After graduating from Cal State LA, he became a substitute teacher teaching all over the district and soon a teacher at Berendo Middle School teaching math and music. His first principal was John Liechty. The work at Berendo and tradition of singing carols for neighboring school just before the holidays. He brought the tradition with him and he became the music teacher at Huntington Park High school in 1991 when each year his students sang and played for several schools that fed into the high school including Middleton ES, Miles ES, and more. When he became an administrator, he continued the tradition working with his music teachers to going on caroling trips at Polytechnic HS, Manual Arts HS, City of Angels School, and Verdugo Hills HS.


And for the last three years, that tradition has continued at Legacy Visual and Performing Arts HS. This year, VAPA focused on our elementary schools visiting and performing for literally thousands of students at Tweedy ES, Bryson ES, San Miguel ES, Willow ES, Victoria ES, Stanford ES, and Park Ave. ES. The day this year was not unlike so many days the other years. It was December 13, the day before the last day of school for the holiday break, after finals were done and grades submitted. Where he used to travel by foot in the late 80's at Berendo, students now have a bus. Where is there were no smart phones to take photos and videos in those days, today that technology exists so a designated social media photographer is a must. Several things have not changed since 1985 when every one of the current students were not born, yet. The group still sang and played the same traditional songs which never go out of style, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus Coming to Town, Feliz Navidad and the rest. Trimis still plays the bagpipes and there are still smiles all around. This year, the trip was especially cheerful. Nearly every group of elementary students sang along, some even performed their own music for the VAPA students (there were many holiday programs at schools on the same day), and there were many reunions between elementary school teachers and their students whom they had not seen in several years.

Thank you so much to our local district for supporting the trip, to the hard-working school principals and teachers at the schools that hoisted us, to to the staff that went on the trip, especially Juan Cuevas (VAPA Music Teacher) and experience this trip as a student at Huntington Park HS, Jessica Gonzalez, TA and an alumni of VAPA. And, of course, thank you to our wonderful student performers who realize that making a difference matters, it counts, and it is what we should be teaching and the work we should be doing in our schools. And that the arts move us all in different and wonderful ways and one of the best ways to communicate with one another and connect us all.

Posted 12/16/18