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The National Association of Music Merchants has awarded BHS with a Support Music Merit Award!

A total of ninety-eight schools were chosen nationwide. Ballard High School is the only school in Washington state to receive this award.

A SMMA Award recognizes an individual school for their commitment to and support of music education. The award recognizes and celebrates the commitment of school administrators, community leaders, teachers and parents who believe in music education and are working to ensure that it is part of a well-rounded education for all children. Over the 20 years of the survey, this designation has helped school music programs maintain and, in many cases, increase funding for music education programs. The award highlights music as a national education issue and shows what your school or community is doing to provide opportunities for music learning. The award also enables educators to draw attention to music programs that are sometimes overlooked or not fully understood by members of the public beyond the school community.

Program Awards


BHS Wins 2021 Support Music Merit Award

Ballard High School has once again been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. This is the third year in a row that BHS has been so recognized for its outstanding commitment to music education. The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Our directors went the extra mile this year in finding innovative ways to compensate for the challenges of teaching music in a virtual setting, and the NAMM Foundation has recognized the value of our program. As boosters, we are proud to support BHS, a school that consistently demonstrates its dedication to music education and a commitment to the role of music and arts in a well-rounded education.

Support Music Merit Award' for 2020

Ballard High School has been honored with the Support Music Merit Award from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment ot music education.  The Support Music Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 

Read some GOOD NEWS about our Program from NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants)

Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival

With 75 entires, Ballard had the highest participation of any school in the region. We are proud of the hard work and artistry that went into all of these performances. In addition, 9 soloists and 6 ensembles won their categories and will advance to the State Competition this April.


Region Winners
Natalie Anderson - Violin
Eliot Lee - Bass
Just Add Eliot Quintet - Large String Ensemble
Ava Lim - Soprano/Alto Saxophone
Ballard Sax Quartet - Small Woodwind Ensemble
Thunder - Percussion Large Ensemble
Claire Burreson - Soprano Voice
Sophie Otness - Mezzo Soprano Voice
Lillie Wirth - Alto Voice
Donovan Blackham - Tenor Voice
Gavin Bradler - Baritone Voice
Ian McGregor - Bass Voice
Ballard Mixed Duet - Mixed Vocal Small
Men's Ensemble - Tenor/Baritone/Bass Vocal Large Ensemble
Chamber Singers - Mixed Large Ensemble


Region Alternates
Malcolm Laurier - 1st Alternate Bass
Ruby Keeton - 1st Alternate Alto/Bass Clarinet
Clara Propst - 1st Alternate Soprano Voice
Catie Vandervort - 1st Alternate Alto Voice
Liam Thomas - 1st Alternate Tenor Voice
Connor Fatland - 1st Alternate Baritone Voice
Ian Carrell - 1st Alternate Bass Voice
Ballard Treble Duet - 1st Alternate Soprano/Mezzo/Alto Small Ensemble
Women's Chamber Choir - 1st Alternate Soprano/Mezzo/Alto Large Ensemble
Java - 1st Alternate Percussion Small Ensemble
Jarin Synnestvedt - 2nd Alternate Trombone
Andreas de la Jara - 2nd Alternate Clarinet
Them Trumps - 2nd Alternate Large Brass Ensemble
Charlie Burns - 2nd Alternate Piano




  • Outstanding Trumpet Section at the UW Jazz Festival 

  • Viking Jazz Festival - 1st Place Band, Outstanding Rhythm Section, Outstanding Trombone section

  • 1st Place at the Bellevue High Jazz Festival


Vancouver Heritage Festival

  • Concert Choir: Gold Award - 1st place

  • Advanced Chorale: Gold Award- 3rd place

  • Concert Choir: Adjudicator Awards (scored above 95 with all judges)

​CWU Fall Choral Invitational

  • Concert Choir wins Linda Marra Award for Outstanding Connection to Music

​State Ensemble

  • Men’s Ensemble wins 2nd in State



Vancouver Heritage Festival​

  • Chamber Orchestra: Gold Award

  • Symphonic Orchestra: Gold Award

  • Chamber Orchestra -- Instrumental Sweepstakes Award

  • Chamber Orchestra: Adjudicator Awards (scored above 95 with all judges)

  • 8 Instrumental Maestro Awards (individual students)

  • Overall Festival Sweepstakes Award

WWU State Orchestra Festival

  • Chamber and Symphonic Gold Ratings


  • Wind Ensemble feature performance at WMEA Conference

  • Jazz Band wins Outstanding Big Band Award at UW Jazz Festival

  • Orchestra wins 1st runner-up at National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center

  • Fiddle Ensemble wins 1st place at WWU Orchestra Festival

  • Concert Choir and Advanced Chorale perform by invitation at L.A. Festival for Top Choirs

  • Jazz Band finalist for Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival and Essentially Ellington

  • Jazz Band selected for Hot Java, Cool Jazz at the Paramount

  • Ballard Chamber Orchestra First Runner-Up in 2018 Prestigious Lincoln Center Orchestra Cup Ballard Places in National Orchestra Championship March 5, 2018--Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra was named first runner up in The National Orchestra Cup, held on March 3 in New York City’s Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Additionally, the violas won the award for best string section. The competition included both chamber orchestras and full orchestras from public, art magnet and private schools across the country. The Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra was one of ten high school orchestras in the country to be invited to perform at The Orchestra Cup National Orchestra Championships, a prestigious annual event that recognizes the top school orchestras in the nation. This was the first time that a Ballard High School orchestra had been selected for the event. Ballard High was selected based on their performance at the American Strings Teachers Association (ASTA) festival in Tampa, FL, two years ago. The performances at Lincoln Center are adjudicated by renowned orchestral professionals and educators from around the nation. The students, under the direction of Orchestra director Brittany Newell, performed the entire Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, op. 110a, from his 8th string quartet. The students were the only group to perform without a conductor. This piece, composed in July 1960, is dedicated to"The Memory of the Victims of Fascism and War.” The opening theme is an adaption of the composer's name to German sounds: (D-S-C-H), and arguably his most autobiographical work, as it contains numerous quotes from his other symphonies and concertos. The performance also featured two major solos: Junior Ethan Doshi on violin in the first movement, and Senior Ellery Haak on cello in the third and fourth movements. Congrats to Ballard High School’s Chamber Orchestra and director Brittany Newell!



  • Wind Ensemble wins Gold Award at Carnegie Hall’s New York International Music Festival

  • Marching Band wins 1st place at Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival Parade

  • Symphonic Orchestra wins 2nd place at Northwest Orchestra Festival

  • Jazz Band wins Outstanding Big Band Award at UW Jazz Festival



  • Concert Choir and Advanced Chorale perform at Carnegie Hall for Choir Nationals

  • Chamber Orchestra selected for feature performance at National ASTA Conference

  • Jazz Band wins Outstanding Big Band Award at UW Jazz Festival

  • Concert Choir invited to perform the National Anthem for State of the State address

  • Jazz Band places 4th at Reno Jazz Festival

  • Children of Eden earns multiple award nominations including Best Musical in Washington State from the 5th Avenue Theatre 

  • 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.



  • Solo/Ensemble State Winners: Percussion Ensemble - 3rd place, Baritone Voice - 3rd place, Women's Vocal Duet - 3rd place

  • Solo/Ensemble Regional Winners: Percussion Large Ensemble, Men's Quartet, Vocal Jazz, Women's Duet, Mixed Duet, and 6 soloists

  • Jazz Band – invitation to Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA and awarded Outstanding Soloist (vocals)

  • Chamber Orchestra - WWU Orchestra Festival, Gold Award

  • Symphonic Orchestra - WWU Orchestra Festival, Gold Award

  • Fiddle Ensemble - WWU Orchestra Festival, 1st place in Eclectic Strings Division

  • Best Supporting Actress - 5th Avenue Awards

  • Student Achievement Award - 5th Avenue Awards

  • Concert Choir and Advanced Women’s Chorale invited to perform at Carnegie Hall for 2016 COA Nationals for Top Choirs



  • Concert Choir feature performance at NW American Choral Directors Association Conference

  • Jazz Band selected for Swing Central Jazz! at the Savannah Music Festival

  • Solo/Ensemble Regional Winners: Women’s Chamber Choir, Men’s Quartet, Brass Quintet, Percussion Ensemble

  • Jazz Band – Hot Java Cool Jazz invitation for 3rd consecutive year

  • Chamber Orchestra - WWU Orchestra Festival, Gold Award

  • Symphonic Orchestra - WWU Orchestra Festival, Gold Award

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CAST AND CREW OF "THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE" BHS Drama received 5 nominations and 2 honorable mentions for the 5th Ave Awards. 

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO MS. AISHA CARPENTER! 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. 



  • Jazz Band –1st place win at Mt. Hood Jazz Festival

  • Men’s Quartet – 1st place win at State Solo/Ensemble Competition

  • Solo/Ensemble Regional Winners: Men's Quartet and Percussion Duo

  • Chamber Orchestra - WWU Orchestra Festival, Gold Award

  • Symphonic Orchestra - WWU Orchestra Festival, Gold Award



  • Regional Solo/Ensemble Winners: Women’s Chamber Choir,Women’s Trio,Men’s Quartet,Percussion Trio 

  • Jazz Band Invited to Perform on Starbucks’“Hot Java/ Cool Jazz Concert” at the Paramount Theater” 



  • Western Washington University Orchestra Festival – Gold Award 

  • Festival Sweepstakes Award at Vancouver “Heritage Festival”, Concert Choir – Gold Rating and 2nd Place in 3A division,Treble Choir – Gold Rating and 2nd Place in 3A division; Orchestra – 1st Place in 3A division, Adjudicators Award, Best Overall Orchestra 

  • Recognized as one of the top 20 Jazz Bands in the nation through the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival 

  • 5th Avenue Theater’s High School Musical Theater Award for Outstanding Orchestra 



  • Concert Choir Invited to perform at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of the Distinguished Concerts International Series 

  • 1st Place AA Women’s Choir, Overall High School Choir Award at Wild Waves “Music in the Parks” Festival 

  • 2nd Place Orchestra, Gold Rating, Adjudicators Award, Spirit of New York City Award at New York “Heritage Festival”



  • 2nd Place AAAA Band at the Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival 

  • 1st Place AA Orchestra, Best Overall Orchestra, Esprit de Corps Award at Silverwood at “Music in the Parks” Festival 

  • 1st Place AA Women’s Choir at Wild Waves “Music in the Parks” Festival 

  • Concert Choir Gold Rating at Anaheim Heritage Festival 



  • 1st Place Orchestra at San Francisco Heritage Music Festival 

  • Best Overall Band at the Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival

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