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Student & Alumni News

Senior Spotlights

Celebrating each year's graduating class of seniors in Ballard Performing Arts, starting in 2020.

Class of 2020 

Class of 2021 

Class of 2022 

Class of 2023

Student Awards
Stay tuned here for news about BPA students pursuing their passion for music beyond the halls of Ballard High School


Congrats to senior wind ensemble and Jazz 1 drummer David Nicollela, who has been accepted to some of the most prestigious music schools in the country, with scholarships, including New England Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College, The New School and others--and still waiting on more. He plans to study music in college with the intent of pursuing a career of a professional musician and educator. Congrats, David!



David's bio, in his own words:

"I'm currently a senior at Ballard High School where I have been heavily involved in the music program including concert, marching and jazz band as well as AP music theory. Playing in the top jazz band since sophomore year, I have had the chance to learn from some amazing mentors and clinicians such as drummer Justin Dicioccio, saxophonist Ron Carter, as well as local legend, saxophonist Gary Hammond. My time in jazz band helped to shape me as a drummer and gave me experience playing big band music from legendary composers such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington. As a sophomore in jazz band, I had the opportunity to play an in-studio performance at Seattle jazz radio station KNKX. At this session I played with senior members of the band along with local professional trumpet player Thomas Marriott. The session aired on the radio and is now available online. During my time in the band we have auditioned and performed for many festivals. In my sophomore year we were awarded 1st place in Bellevue High Jazz Festival as well as 1st place band, and outstanding rhythm section at Viking Jazz Festival. In my junior year we were accepted into both Monterey Jazz and Hot Java Cool Jazz. Unfortunately, due to covid 19, both festivals were cancelled, which was quite a disappointment. 


Along with my experience in the Ballard High music program, I also play with other groups such as my progressive rock band Crescent Sun. With Crescent Sun I have had the opportunity to gain experience composing songs in a group setting and playing live music. Prior to the pandemic, we performed many shows in local clubs such as: Hale's Palladium, the Skylark, and the Funhouse. During the summer of my sophomore year we were fortunate enough to record an album at Studio Litho where many high profile artists have recorded, including Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Dave Matthews Band. The album titled Lilith Calling was produced by Shawn Simmonds who produced many amazing projects such as Soundgarden's Down on the Upside. Now released, the album is available on all major streaming platforms. 

Over the past few months I have been busy applying to colleges, auditioning for music programs with the intent of studying jazz performance. Recently I was accepted, with scholarships, to New England Conservatory, The New School, Oberlin, and Cornish College Of The Arts. I still have several more colleges I am waiting to hear back from, and have yet to make a decision, however, I am very excited to pursue music at the collegiate level with the intent of pursuing a career of a professional musician and educator."

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