GOLETA, Calif. - A local high school music teacher is in the running for a Grammy.
For the first time, the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation is introducing a Music Educator Award. The new category is a way to acknowledge music teacher in schools.
Instrumental Music Director Les Rose has a passion for music. He challenges every student to do their best.
"I like that we get to play really hard music, which actually makes you get better," said Abby Jackson-Gain, a Dos Pueblos student.
For 11 years, Rose has led bands and orchestras at Dos Pueblos High School. Now he's in the running for a first Grammy.
He started out as one of 30,000 nominated teachers across the country.
"It's not everyday your teacher gets nominated for a Grammy award," said Ryan Radujko.
"I was stunned," said Rose.
Rose is one of 217 teachers in the quarter finals.
"I thought, what are the odds of winning but I'll give it my best shot. And so I was pretty surprised when I found out that they actually liked what I had to say," he said.
Rose teaches nearly 200 students and his orchestra class wasn't surprised he's close to bringing home the Grammy.
"He really deserves it. He puts a lot of effort in teaching us and helping us improve in chamber music and orchestra," said Alisa Egecioglu.
But he doesn't leave out some modern music. The student played the melody from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Rose said the new award category shines a spotlight on the music education and he is hoping to take the top spot for his students.
"This is it. The Grammy's going right here," said Rose as he pointed to an empty spot next to other trophies.
Rose is the only music teacher on the coast to be in the running for the Grammy. He will find out on Aug. 1 if he made it to the semifinals.