Ballard’s plays on school gun violence profiled by Crosscut and KCTS

KCTS and Crosscut have produced a feature story about Ballard High School’s production of Bang Bang You’re Dead and Eric LaRue—two plays about school gun violence that were staged last month. Filmed on location at the school, journalist Aileen Imperial interviews the cast and directors. 

The story/video was published on both the Crosscut.com and KCTS9.org websites: 

20 years after Columbine, Ballard High theater students address school shootings   

2016 - 2017

Congratulations Les Misérables cast, crew and pit on an unforgettably epic production! 5th Avenue Awards has given Honorable Mention to Diego Roberts Buceta for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role. Special Honors: Student Achievement goes to Alex Howell on Properties. The show also received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Lighting Design: Sam Scheiber and Gabe Airth

The Wind Ensemble made the news regarding their trip to Carnegie Hall.  Watch here.

Congratulations the cast and crew of The Foreigner, and director, Mr. Riley, on an edgy and hilarious series of performances.  

Congratulations to the Marching Band on another riveting half time show.  And also to the Men's Ensemble for a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem!  Watch. 

Congratulations to Mr. James and the BHS Marching Band for winning 1st place among the 4A marching bands in the Autumn Leaf Parade in Leavenworth 9/24/16!!!  Video  Photos



Congratulations to the Ballard Bands and Orchestra on incredible nights of music for the final concerts of the year. 

Thank you to everyone that attended.  If you missed the performances last week you can view Videos on the  Vimeo Ballard Music page as well as the Ballard YouTube Channel. Edited mp3's will follow shortly! Check out some photos from that night too on the Ballad Performing Arts Flickr Album Check this link regularly for newly updated photos!

The 5th Ave Theater Awards

Congratulations to the cast, crew, and orchestra of CHILDREN OF EDEN, a 2016 nominee for Best Musical, Best Lighting Design, and Best Supporting Actress (Camiara Metz)!!!  Honorable mentions for best Direction, Best Actress (Aisha Carpenter), and Best Chorus!!! We will be performing the show-stopping 2nd act number, "Ain't It Good" at McCaw Hall on the evening of June 6th during the awards ceremony!


Watch a sneak preview at vimeo.com/158835372  

Congratulations to Concert Choir and Advanced Women's Chorale on their spectacular performances in New York City! 

On Thursday, March 24th, our groups were praised for their vocal technique, diction, and expressive singing during the Choirs of America Nationals for Top Choirs Festival at Queens College. On Friday morning, the choirs delighted audiences in Central Park, and on Friday night, they put on a stunning show at world renowned Carnegie Hall.  The audience was moved to tears by the beautiful and powerful artistry and music making. Bravo to all!  A special thanks to our wonderful parent chaperones who helped make everything go smoothly, to the Performing Arts Boosters who - through their scholarship fund - helped make it possible for 96 students to have this opportunity, and to all of the parents who worked to make this a reality for their children.  A proud weekend for Ballard Performing Arts! 

View videos from the Choirs of America Festival at Queen's College HERE


BPA has a fantastic showing at last weekend's regional Solo and Ensemble festival at Seattle Pacific University. Ballard had 21 soloists and 10 ensembles participate, who all earned a score of either I-Superior or II-Excellent.

Special recognition goes to the 3 ensembles and 6 soloists who won their categories and will advance to the state competition in April!

They include Vocal Jazz, Percussion Ensemble, Mixed Vocal Duet, Aidan Ward-Richter - Snare Drum, Meg Shepherd - Soprano, Ezra Finch - Soprano, Aisha Carpenter - Alto, Satchel Dunnell - Tenor, and Diego Roberts Buceta - Baritone. In addition, Chamber Orchestra, Women's Chamber Choir, and numerous soloists were selected as alternates in their categories.

The Ballard High School Concert Choir

The Concert Choir was honored to perform for two events in the last few weeks. Concert Choir sang at the State of State address at the Capital Building in Olympia, WA. Gov. Jay Inslee invited Concert Choir to sing the National Anthem at the State of the State address on Tuesday, January 12th!  This event was attended by both branches of the legislature and televised live.  In addition, the students will go to meet with the Governor and our local legislators in the Governor's office. Check YouTube for a video of the experience here.

The Concert Choir also performed at the School Board meeting Wednesday, Feb 3rd, at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence. A link to YouTube to see that performance in here




BHS Drama received 5 nominations and 2 honorable mentions for the 5th Ave Awards. 


Aisha Carpenter won best soloist award for vocals at the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA, May 2015.  

Ballard Jazz I was one of only 12 high school big bands were selected to this festival. 


Ms Courtney Pelavin is the recipient of the 2014 Washington State ACDA Outstanding Young Choral Director Award! 

To qualify for the award, one must meet the following criteria: 10 years or fewer choral directing experience, current ACDA/WA-ACDAmember, maintains high performance and literature standards and attends ACDA/WA-ACDA activities. In her notification e-mail, the ACDA had this to say about Ms. Pelavin: "Your contributions to the art of choral music have been impactful with significant contributions to the choral arena in the greater Seattle area and the state of Washington.  We thank you for what you have done and wish to express our appreciation with this award." It appears that others are catching on to the truly outstanding job that Ms.Pelavin does on a daily basis for the students of Ballard High School. Congratulations on the well-deserved honor!

Band I is going to Georgia! Swing Central Jazz is a three-day workshop and competition with a collective approach to big band jazz instruction. Led by pianist/composer/educator Marcus Roberts, the clinician team includes a wide range of jazz educators such as Wycliffe Gordon, Jason Marsalis, Jim Ketch (Associate Director), Rodney Whitaker and Ron Westray. Swing Central Jazz 2014 takes place from March 26-28 in Savannah, GA.

The BHS Marching Band won 2nd place at the Victoria Day Parade in Victoria, B.C. on Monday, May 20. Eighty band students traveled to Victoria to participate in the annual event which drew nearly 50,000 spectators from the region. There were over 21 high school bands from Washington and Canada who participated in this year's parade and this marks the 2nd year in a row that the BHS Band has placed in the top 3 at the festival. The band also had a fantastic performance in front of the Parliament Bldg. in downtown Victoria and drew many spectators for their hour-long performance on Sunday. The drum majors for the marching band are Julian Amrine and Juliette Birkner. 

BHS JAZZ BAND WINS FIRST PLACE: Congratulations to the Ballard Jazz Band for taking Top Honors at the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival this past weekend. The band played with great energy and earned high praise from the adjudicators. Outstanding soloists in the band were also recognized: Julian Amrine on trumpet, Will Radford on Alto Sax and Luca Cartner on Drums. Don't miss your chance to hear the Ballard Jazz Bands and Vocal Jazz at Jazz Alley next Monday night! 

BHS Men's Quartet Places 1st in State: Congratulations to the Ballard High School Men's Quartet for the 1st place win at this past weekend's prestigious State Solo and Ensemble Competition at Central Washington University! Men's Quartet members Gerson Tschider, George Chrisafis, Logan Monson, and Spencer Johnson competed against 21 other men's vocal ensembles from across the state to take home this top prize. This win marks the first time a Ballard ensemble has taken the top prize at the WIAA state music championship. Additional congrats to the BHS Percussion Duet and our eight soloists for their Superior performances at the competition.
Congratulations to Ballard’s Treble Choir, Advanced Women’s Chorale, and Concert Choir for their wonderful performances at this weeks’  Elliott Bay Regional Choir Festival, held Tuesday at Garfield High School’s Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center.  Students performed for other schools in our region and had onstage clinics and adjudications with Bryan Nichols, PhD University of Washington, and Sara Boos, Artistic Director of the Northwest Girlchoir.  The Ballard Choirs all earned straight Superior ratings, which is the highest possible score!  They performed with incredible focus, dedication, and artistry, and were praised for their professionalism, musicality, and mature tone quality. 

Choir Festival 
Congratulations to Ballard’s Treble Choir, Advanced Women’s Chorale, and Concert Choir for their wonderful performances at this weeks’ Elliott Bay Regional Choir Festival, held Tuesday at Garfield High School’s Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center. Learn more…. 

Hot Java Cool Jazz 
Congratulations to swingin' cats of fire in Jazz Band I for a toe tapping, sparkling performance at the sold out performance of the Starbuck’s 18th Annual Hot Java Cool Jazz benefit concert. 

WWU Orchestra Festival 
Congratulations to the Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra for their fantastic performances this past weekend at the WWU Orchestra Festival. Ballard took home two gold awards from the festival. 

Ballard High School gets ready to wow audiences with 'Sound of Music' 
Read the Ballard News-Tribune's backstage insight on the production and performers. 

Congratulations State Contestants!
12 students will represent the Ballard Performing Arts at State Competition on April 26-27 with more students possibly participating as alternates. 

  • Alto: Sita Pongthunyaviriya 
  • Baritone: Karsten Newby  
  • Men's Vocal-Small: Men's Quartet
  • Soprano: Frances Steelquist, Natalie Roberts Buceta 
  • Percussion-Small: Ballard Percussion Duet 
  • Soprano: Maddie LeClair, Joan Houser  

The following students go to State if the first place winners are unable to attend:

  • Guitar: Joe Palasz 
  • Mezzo Soprano: Katie Welch
  • Mezzo Soprano: Maddy Greenfield
  • Percussion-Large: Ballard Percussion Ensemble 
  • Percussion-Small: Ballard Percussion Quartet
  • Strings-Large: Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra
  • Trombone: Dylan Riley
  • Woman's Vocal-Large: Women’s Chamber Choir
  • Woman's Vocal-Small: Celia Major & Clara Manahan

Second Alternates:

  • Clarinet: Sophie Feathers
  • Flute-Piccolo: Alina Kido-Matzner
  • Soprano: Celia Major
  • Woman's Vocal-Small: Natalia Roberts-Buceta & Paloma Roberts-Buceta

Ballard’s Concert Choir was one of three local high schools selected to participate in the UW Festival for Choral Excellence. Students had an hour workshop on stage at Meany Hall with the Guest Clinician - Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe (University of Southern California) and listened to the UW Choir perform. 

Congratulations to the Ballard Orchestra for their performance at the Elliot Bay Orchestra Festival at Garfield High School. The Orchestra worked with adjudicators Dr. Paul Cobbs of the Tacoma Youth Symphony http://www.tysamusic.org/ and received an excellent rating on their performance.

Starbucks’ 18th Annual Hot Java Cool Jazz 

Saturday, March 22, 2013 
The Paramount Theatre Ballard Jazz Band I joins with the other hottest Seattle-area high school bands to display their chops for one amazing, jazz-filled evening. All proceeds from ticket sales at the Ballard Starbucks (22nd & Market) will benefit BHS Performing Arts Programs. Also, BHS Performing Arts will receive 5% of other ticket sales. Tickets go on sale on February 18th and are $20.

Congratulations to the Mr. James and The Wind Ensemble for their participation in the University of Washington Winds 25th Annual Pacific Northwest Band Festival. The Wind Ensemble had a session with noted composer and clinician Satoshi Yagisawa, who teaches wind, string, and percussion instruments at SHOBI Music College, Tokyo. 14 high school bands participated in the festival, which concluded with select students from each high school performing with the University of Washington Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble. The Ballard musicians selected for this honor were Meghan Kemp, Helen Miller, and Will Radford.

Save the Date! Thursday, February 28th at 5:00 p.m

  • Join the BHS Foundation for dinner and a show – the opening night of “The Sound of Music”! 
  • Tickets include a reception, dinner and reserved seating. 
  • Order your tickets now

Duck Island Jazz Festival 
BHS Vocal Jazz joined with Blanchet High School’s Vocal Jazz for the annual Duck Island Jazz Festival. Students worked with legendary teachers, adjudicators, and vocal jazz experts Frank DeMeiro and Ken Kraintz. Ballard’s Vocal Jazz was praised for their tone, interpretation, soloists, and balance. It was a fun and educational afternoon!

Take A Seat!

Buy a seat in the BHS Earl Kelly Performing Arts Hall for only for $50 and we will place a plaque with your message on the chair arm. Use this opportunity to remember a loved one, print a favorite verse or name of a performer, or simply mark your thoughtfulness. These funds will contribute significantly in sending the Ballard High School theatre department to the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 450 seats are available. Don’t be left standing … choose your seat TODAY! Download the order form now. BHSPABC_Buy a Seat Campaign.pdf

2012 Macy’s Parade

The BHS Marching Band welcomed the holiday season playing festive tunes as they marched through downtown Seattle. Find out more http://www.myballard.com/2009/11/27/ballard-high-marching-band-at-downtown-parade/  

2012 Olympic College Jazz Classic

Congratulations to Zoe Duarte, Frances Steelquist, Sofia Simonton Siegel, and Jade Likkel for being honored with outstanding soloist awards, and kudos to the entire Vocal Jazz ensemble ---the clinician called Ballard’s performance the highlight of his day!  Listen to the performance now:  mms://stream1.olympic.edu/music/jf/ballardhighschool.wmv


2013 National Association for Music Education(NAfME)

A record number of our students will represent BHS in the 2012-13 NAfME honor groups! Selection is a prestigious achievement with high school musicians from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming competing to be included in the All Northwest groups, and fierce competition across Washington for inclusion in the All-State groups.

o   Alina Kido-Matzner: Flute, All-NW Band

o   George Chrisafis: All-State Symphonic Choir

o   Julia Quandt: All-State Symphonic Choir

o   Maddie LeClair: All-State Symphonic Choir

o   Maddy Barnes: All-NW Mixed Choir

o   Natalia Roberts-Buceta: All-NW Mixed Choir

o   Tara Snevoll: Violin, All State Symphonic Orchestra

Read more about the event on the Ballard Blog - http://www.myballard.com/2013/02/22/bhs-students-shine-at-all-state-performance/   
Find out more about NAfME http://nafmenw.org/subcontent.aspx?SecID=941


2012 Fall Women’s Choir Invitational

The Advanced Women’s Chorale delighted audiences with a superb performance at the first ever Fall Women’s Choir Invitational at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo!  Ballard singers were praised for the beauty of their tone and their advanced musicianship by clinician Dinah Helgeson.  In addition, our students joined with four other choirs for a moving rendition of the gospel song “Still I Rise” to close out the festival.

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival

Jazz Band I took the stage at Seattle Town Hall, providing the audience with a swinging performance of somegreat tunes – like Sing, Sing, Sing by Louis Prima and Across the Track Blues by Duke Ellington.

Find out more about the festival http://www.earshot.org/festival/festival.html

2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The BHS Theatre Department has been selected as one of 40 schools to represent the United States at the 2013 American High School Theatre Festival at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Ballard received this great honor by being nominated by Timberline Director of Theatre, Brenda Amburgy. A rigorous application process then followed. Mr. Riley had to outline BHS theatre both curricularly and creatively in great detail. The students in the Thespian Troupe put together the creative elements: Micah Kearny and team produced a stunning five minute DVD promoting our production efforts over the past two years. Staff members and parents wrote letters of recommendation, and students created and published an amazing scrapbook of photos and quotes highlighting our theatrical seasons. Eight AHSTF board members then reviewed the application packet. We were lucky enough to be one of 40 schools in the United States selected to travel.

Our itinerary will span two weeks in August of 2013 starting with two days in London spent sightseeing and attending a West-End show. Next we will be whisked to Edinburgh where we will spend the next ten days rehearsing, teaching, marketing, and performing our show (with a four performance run) at the Fringe (100,000 artists presenting 1500 shows in a three week period). Students will also spend down time sightseeing and attending other theatre productions.


The Fringe Festival was founded in 1947 to showcase boundless creativity from around the world. Nicknamed the “Queen Mother” due to the fact that it is the world’s largest arts festival, the Fringe has given opportunities to the most anonymous solo performers as well as to major international celebrities like Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and the Monty Python gang.


2012 Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival

Ballard High School was one of the 15 finalists of the 17th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Band Competition & Festival, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.  Read more...

2011 Vancouver Heritage Music Festival Sweepstakes Award

The Concert Choir and Treble Choir, conducted by Courtney Rowley, and the String Orchestra, conducted by Michael James, received a Gold Rating for their successful performances at the 2011 Vancouver Heritage Music Festival. Each group received a Gold Rating (over 90 points out of 100) from each of the nine judges and the Music Department won the Festival Sweepstakes Award for having the highest scores out of all schools in attendance.

Read more http://www.myballard.com/2011/06/06/bhs-music-gets-gold-rating/

2011 Essentially EllingtonJazz Festival

Ballard High School Jazz I placed in the top 20 bands in the country inthe 2011 Essentially Ellington Festival. Because of their high scores, Mr.James won a full scholarship to attend the Jazz at LincolnCenter's Band Director Academy

2010 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Vocal Jazz and Jazz Band I participate in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.  Both groups performed extremely well and earned high ratings.  Additional kudos to Sam Zisette, Will Radford, Zach Metzger,Michael Eskenazi, Kyra Clnan, Lizzy O'Laughlin, Jen Dyer, Patrick Knoblauch and Ry Clascock who performed separately in the solo division and represented Ballard with pride. 

2010 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award

Mr. James was presented with the "Heroes in the Classroom Award" by BHS Principal, Mr. Wynkoop. Mr. James was lauded "for exemplary performance in the classroom".  The crowd gave Mr. James a standing ovation for this well deserved recognition.  

Ballard High School

1418 Northwest 65th Street, Seattle WA  98117

Ballard Performing Arts Booster Club  

PO Box 17774, Seattle, WA  98127

501(c)(3) organization  45-4436465

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