The Ballard High School Music and Drama Programs have recently gained regional, national, and international acclaim for their ensembles and performances. The Music Program includes over 300 students who participate in two concert bands, three concert choirs, two orchestras, percussion ensemble, two jazz bands, one jazz choir and multiple chamber ensembles. The Drama Program has over 90 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’s performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center, Orchestra’s recognition as Best Overall Orchestra in both the Vancouver and San Francisco Heritage Festivals, and Jazz Band’s participation in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival, the Earshot Jazz Festival and Starbucks’ “Hot Java Cool Jazz” concert.
Each year, Ballard’s Drama 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 17 awards from the 5th Avenue High School Musical Theater Awards, winning in the categories of Best Costumes (Bye Bye Birdie, 2012) and Best Orchestra (Cabaret, 2011), with additional nominations for Best Chorus, Best Vocal Direction, and Best Overall Musical.
Ballard’s Drama program recently received two nominations to represent the state of Washington in the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. The American High School Theatre Festival is a part 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 Drama 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 Drama programs receive no financial assistance from the district or school budgets, the Boosters work with students and faculty to fundraise over $50,000 annually. These funds cover the cost of instruments, sheet music, uniforms, accompanying and coaching, festival fees, transportation, and scholarships for students in need.