The Girard Academic Music Program began operation in September 1974 as an alternative program within the Stephen Girard School at 18th and Snyder Avenue in Philadelphia. 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. The program has been housed in 3 locations:
- The Trinity Church Parish House (18th & Wolf Streets); 1974 -1976
- The Armory, owned by St. Rita’s Church (Broad & Wharton Streets) 1976 - 1979
- The Poe Building (22nd & Ritner Street) 1979 - till the present.
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 98% - 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.