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Ballard Performing Art Incoming Students And Families!

Quick links below in case helpful as an information resource in Preparing for In-Person/Remote. 



We realize remote learning and all the information about what this particular school year will look like seems to be changing constantly, please be assured that the Directors and the Ballard Performing Arts (BPA) Booster Board are working to keep up with the changes for school, activities, and SPS plans for the year.

Our programs at Ballard High School are unique within the Seattle Public Schools. All four of our directors work as a team and our boosters support all the bands, all the choirs, all the orchestras and the theatre department. There are more than 15 groups total under the Ballard Performing Arts umbrella.

This year, students and families that are involved in the Ballard Performing Arts program can expect a new level of togetherness, even when we are away from each other. This year’s overarching theme is “UNITY and COMMUNITY. “


What does this mean?  It means that in addition to making a renewed individual commitment to our own chosen performing arts medium, we are going to spend time getting to know folks across performing groups or troupes. It means we are going to collaborate in unconventional ways in the making of performance art – with creativity as the main vehicle.  It means we are going to, as a program, dig deep into the difficult work of decolonization and the building of a culturally responsive, welcoming environment for our community to thrive within. 


It means that all performing arts teachers will be spending time with all performing arts students. We will endeavor to bring our strengths together as “accountability partners” to deliver an even more effective and powerful curriculum that serves all of our students. This year calls for a different approach – the “old way” isn’t really doable right now. We are so excited for our students to hop on board with us and get ready for a cool new journey.

  • There will be opportunities for the “whole band/ orchestra/ choir” to participate in creating “virtual” music for video production

  • There will be opportunities for students to collaborate musically in small groups with their music ensemble

  • There will be opportunities for students to collaborate musically and theatrically in small (and large) groups across the performing arts department

Groups will be working toward a virtual “Collage Concert” in January 2021.  It will be a collaboration between all Performing Arts students and ensembles featuring a variety of musical and theatrical performances, including large virtual ensembles, small ensembles, student composition, and individual monologues.  

Below is a snapshot of upcoming dates, communication channels, and volunteer opportunities. The BPA Families Page on our web site will also have updated information as it comes out. 

Fiddlers Information

Fiddlers ensembles meets on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 8:00 PM on Teams. Contact Ms. Fortune for the link.

Jazz Band Information

Mr. Parrish, BHS Jazz teacher and Mr. Gillespie, Interim Band Director, will be working with both bands on learning the Upbeat music software. Upbeat software, purchased this Fall by the BPAB Boosters, will help engage students in remote practice and playing. 

Jazz 1 & 2 Schedule beginning October 5, 2020:

  • Jazz 1 is Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning at 7:30 am

  • Jazz 2 is Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 am.

  • Team meeting links are sent to all Jazz students at email@seattleschools.org.

  • Email any questions to interim band director Jay Gillespie at jrgillespie@seattleschools.org

Some background: Mr. Gillespie is the interim band director at BHS for the year. He is working closely with Trevor Parrish to make the best out if this weird situation we all find ourselves in. He has studied Jazz and Improvisational studies at the University of Michigan and played professionally with the Navy Band for years. Mr. Parrish will continue as a BHS Jazz teacher with a fabulous professional resume and a wealth of knowledge to provide consistency and lots of enthusiasm for a strong start.

Vocal Jazz Information

Vocal Jazz ensembles meets Monday from 4:00-5:30 PM and Wednesday from 9:00-9:50 AM. Contact Ms. Rowley for more information. 

Need to Pick up an Instrument?

Do you need an instrument for class or practice? Please email directors, and include your first and last name, grade, and the class that you are enrolled in. Email your teacher to make arrangements:

Band: Jay Gillespie, jrgillespie@seattleschools.org

Orchestra: Elizabeth Fortune, eafortune@seattleschools.org

Program Fees and Information

Program Fees help to pay for buses, trips, uniforms and other supplies that support the students and the program. This year, due to virtual instruction, we will have fewer trips but different needs such as additional technology support to enable optimal instruction and performances. While your program fees will be used a bit differently, we ensure you that they will be put to great use in ensuring a high quality artistic experience for all students. 


2020-2021 Fees

Annual Fees for band, orchestra or choir: $155

Jazz I = $100 

Jazz II = No Fee

How to Pay Fees

You can pay fees by going to the Payment and Ticket Sale Tab at ballardperformingarts.org and find your group. (Create an account to keep track of payments.) 

All fees are due September 15 

(Note: in a typical year, fees are due July 1 prior to the beginning of school year). 

Scholarships Are Available

The Music faculty, together with the Ballard High School Performing Arts Booster Club (BPABC), is committed to providing a high quality experience for all students who wish to participate in Performing Arts activities regardless of financial circumstances.  If you are in need of scholarship assistance, please fill out the Scholarship Form. Please contact your group rep if you need assistance (See rep emails at end of this letter). Any student that wants to be in the music program will have assistance if needed. 

The boosters also offer several student fundraisers throughout the year to help with costs of trips, etc.


Stay Connected: Web Site, Enews, Social Media, REMIND

Ballard Performing Arts Website

We are working hard to keep this website up-to-date with new information about all the Ballard Performing Arts programs. For more detailed information, download the “Closer Look” documents linked above on this page.  This is where you can find out about auditions, contact the board and directors, make payments and donations, buy tickets for performances, FAQs about uniforms and events, music camp and field trip paperwork, links to weekly newsletters and more. You can also stay up to date with any events that have been scheduled by subscribing to our calendar: https://www.ballardperformingarts.org/calendar

BPA Newsletter

If you follow only one communication source, the weekly newsletter is the one, delivered every Tuesday during the school year. Specific and timely information is provided there and updated on the website. Sign up for the newsletter by using this form. You can find the latest copy of the newsletter under the Communications Tab at the top, under Current Newsletter and archives of past newsletters.​

Social Media

Follow our Ballard Performing Arts social media channels:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ballardperformingarts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BHSMusicDrama
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ballardperformingarts/

Remind Texts

We use an app called  REMIND  to keep families and students notified by text of all sorts of information. This easy and convenient app includes event reminders, uniform reminders, notifications about news, locations, arrival/departures. Each fall REMIND codes are updated and distributed to all students and families. We will also list them on the website.  Sign up for 2020-2021 REMIND Codes


Volunteer Opportunities 

Are you a tech whiz and can edit zoom performances? Can you take photos at our concerts? Do you really click with social media and want to breathe some life into those channels? Would you like to videotape shows? When field trips are back in action--can you chaperone students on trips or to football games?  

There are many moving parts to the BPA program to keep students, events, and fundraising on track and we would love help from parents and guardians to keep the wheels moving. We often send out opportunities by newsletter and use Sign Up Genius to recruit volunteers for our annual Dessert Dash, uniform fittings, bake sales, organizing one-off fundraisers. What is your superpower? Our team can use your talent! Contact: BallardPerformingArts@gmail.com


To volunteer with Seattle Public Schools, you MUST complete the SPS online process. PLEASE start this process ASAP. We need parents/guardians cleared to help with camps in September. Paperwork needs to be filled out and submitted, along with ID and other requirements. It can take up to two weeks for paperwork to be approved. Begin the process at Seattle Public Schools Volunteer Application and Forms to get started or check your status (if you have volunteered before).


Contact Us


Courtney Rowley, Director of Choirs: chrowley@seattleschools.org

Elizabeth Fortune, Director of Orchestras: eafortune@seattleschools.org

Walter White, Interim Band Teacher: wewhite@seattleschools.org

Shawn Riley, Director of Theatre: smriley@seattleschools.org

Group Reps

BPAB has a terrific group of volunteer parents who work closely with the directors to communicate with families in each performing arts group. If you have questions about your student’s specific band, orchestra, choir or theatre group, please feel free to reach out to any of reps listed below:

Band Rep Carol Cheyne:  BPABbandrep@gmail.com
Jazz Band Rep Mishelle Jin: BPABjazzrep@gmail.com
Choir Rep Lori & Stuart Onstad:  BPABchoirrep@gmail.com
Orchestra Rep Page Abrahamson: BPABorchestrarep@gmail.com
Theatre Rep Bonnie Moses: BPABtheatrerep@gmail.com

Other questions, reach out to the Ballard Performing Arts Board Co Presidents

Rachel Hart Rios: ballardperformingarts@gmail.com
Jeannette Chen: bpabpresident@gmail.com
Shelley Rousseau: bpabfundraising@gmail.com

We are excited to have you as a member of Ballard Performing Arts!  We take great pride in our community, and look forward to welcoming you as a part of it.  This year you will be challenged and inspired as we create memorable musical experiences, pursue artistic endeavors, and form lasting bonds and friendships. 


We look forward to a great year of inspiration and reinvention!