The Ballard High School Music and Theatre Programs have gained regional, national, and international acclaim for their ensembles and performances. The Music Program includes over 400 students who participate in three concert bands, one concert choir, two treble choirs, two orchestras, percussion ensemble, two jazz bands, one jazz choir and multiple chamber ensembles. The Theatre Program has over 100 students who partake in Theatre and Technical Theatre classes, and includes almost 200 students who participate in the three extra-curricular plays and musicals each season.
The top music ensembles at the school have traveled to festivals and performances across the country and have won multiple awards and recognitions for their high level of music-making and outstanding performances. Highlights include Concert Choir and Advanced Chorale’s performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall for Choir Nationals for Top Choirs, Wind Ensemble’s performance at Carnegie Hall for the New York International Music Festival, Chamber Orchestra’s performance at Lincoln Center for the National Orchestra Cup. Featured conference invitations include Wind Ensemble’s performance at the Washington Music Educators Association Conference, Chamber Orchestra’s performance at the American String Teachers Association Nation Conference, and Concert Choir’s performance at the NW American Choral Director’s Association Conference. Jazz Band has been a finalist in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival, the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, the Savannah Swing Central Jazz Festival, and has been selected for Starbucks’ “Hot Java Cool Jazz” concert at the Paramount.
Each year, Ballard’s Theatre and Music programs combine to produce a full scale musical theatre production. In the past few years, Ballard’s musicals have been nominated for over 25 awards from the 5th Avenue High School Musical Theater Awards, winning in the categories of Best Costumes (Bye Bye Birdie, 2012; Urinetown, 2014), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Thoroughly Modern Millie,2015) and Best Orchestra (Cabaret, 2011), with additional nominations for Best Chorus, Lighting Design, Vocal Direction, and Overall Musical.
Ballard’s Theatre program has received numerous nominations to represent the state of Washington in the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh,Scotland, and did so in 2013. The American High School Theatre Festival is apart of the International Fringe Festival, which is the largest arts festival in the world. Ballard High School is proud to have received this coveted spot and was one of only 40 U.S. high schools in attendance. Students traveled to the UK this past August to perform Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World”.
Ballard Music and Theatre Alumni have attended many of the nation’s most prestigious performing arts schools and universities, including The University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Oberlin College, The New School (NYC),Stanford University, The University of Oregon, The University of Washington,Cornish College of the Arts, Pacific Lutheran University, Point Park University(Pittsburgh), Loyola University, The University of Portland, and Chapman University.
Ballard High School’s Music and Theatre programs are fortunate to have a supportive parent community – the Performing Arts Booster Club – who support the programs with financial and volunteer assistance and ensure that our students receive the richest arts experience possible while at Ballard High School.Because the Music and Theatre programs receive no financial assistance from the district or school budgets, the Boosters work with students and faculty to fund raise over $60,000 annually. These funds cover the cost of instruments,sheet music, uniforms, accompanying and coaching, festival fees,transportation, and scholarships for students in need.