The Website for Boston Latin School Visual and Performing Arts




Paul Pitts
Director of Visual and Performing Arts

Boston Latin School
78 Ave. Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115

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Did You Hear?


Congratulations to all the Chorus, Bands and Orchestras that competed last weekend.

The Concert Choir and the Concert Strings won Gold Medals at the MICCA Festival.

The Concert Choir will be performing at Symphony Hall as part of the Gold Medal showcase this Saturday at 9:15 am. The concert is free and open to the public. It would be great to see lots of parents at the concert.

The Symphonic Band received a Silver Medal at the same festival.

The Show Choir "Pizazz" received a Bronze Medal at the Waltham Show Choir Festival.

The Big Band won a Gold Medal at the State Finals and will be performing on May 4th at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Charles Vadala, Erin Vadala, Harry Xue, Jasper Schilling and Allen Yang all received awards for outstanding musicianship at the State Finals.

And Happening at the School.... 

St Andrews Cathedral School Choir from Sydney, Australia will be performing on Friday, April 11 in the BLS Auditorium during R6 & R7.  

Yellow Submarine Improv Troupe performs Friday, April 11 at 3 and 7 pm in the Black Box.  


Improv Show

Do you wish you could go to a show where everyone's funny and cool? Forget about your other plans, then tell your friends you're out of town, ditch them, and come see an improv show!  

On Friday, April 11th the Yellow Submarine Improv Troupe is having their third show of the year, "See No Improv, Hear No Improv, Speak No Improv." We'll have two completely different shows at 3 and 7, only $3 for students, $5 for adults, and free for students at 7!

Holiday Concerts 2013 MP3s

The Holiday Concerts 2013 MP3s are up! To listen to them, click here.


2013 Holiday Concerts Slideshows

The 2013 Holiday Concerts slideshows are up! You can view them here.


Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Congratulations to the following winners of the Boston Globe Scholastic Awards:

Art:  Shirley Fang (2HM), Heather Forbes (HM), Holland Gillis HM), Talia Goodman (SK), Katherine Gudiel (HM), Jackson Keyser (GK), Afton Kirkpatrick (GK), Katie Krom (GK), Lily Lu (SK), Thao Nguyen (HM), Gabriella Ryan (GK), Martin Scheele (GK), Morgan Spaulding (SK), Grace Styklunus (SK), Emilio Vides-Curnen (GK,HM), Cole Wennerholm (GK), Connie Wong (HM), Sally Wu (HM), Olivia Zorn (SK, HM)

Writing: Heather Forbes (HM) and Alexandra Reilinger

BLS Theater Students among the Mass Theater Guild Award Winners

Congratulations to the following students who received awards at the Mass Theatre Guild Festival: 

Acting:  Anna Schuliger, Rowen Halpin and Gus Viveiros

Techinical Design and Production:  Nora Hill, Sofia Inglessis, Cole Johnson, Emily Surdek, Chris Frattaroli, Drew Hoener, Lukas Metlicka, Will Burnett, Jamie Doyle, Matt Carpino, Hannah Monius, Rozi Delaura, Lissette Velez-Cross, Mariel Rice, Elizabeth George, Malcolm DC, Karen Barden, Kylie Nelson, Samantha Lee, Geneva Cusack and Niamh Reilly


BLS Big Band wins Gold at Cape Cod Jazz Festival

Congratulations to the BLS Big band for winning a GOLD medal last week at the Cape Cod Jazz festival and qualifing for the State Finals for the thirteen year in a row. Outstanding musicianship awards went to Erin Vadala, Charles Vadala and Jasper Schilling. The Most Valuable Player for Division One was awarded to Jasper Schilling for his outstanding tenor saxophone playing. The Big Band also received Honorable Mention at the Berklee High Schools Jazz Festival and outscored sixteen other high school from the east coast.


BLS Class VI Band and Orchestra Attends BSO Concert

BLS Class VI band and orchestra students attended a BSO children's concert on Wednesday, February 26th at Symphony Hall.


Community Music Center of Boston to Pay Tribute to Mr. Pitts

On Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 pm in the BLS auditorium, the Community Music Center of Boston (CMCB) will be "celebrating 15 years of partnership between CMCB and Boston Latin School and honoring Paul J. Pitts’ contributions and leadership" by offering an evening of music featuring CMCB and BLS ensembles, followed by a dessert reception.

Proceeds from the event will create the Paul J. Pitts Scholarship Fund which will subsidize and support private instruction at CMCB for promising BLS students. CMCB hopes that many of Paul Pitts' students and their families, past and present, will be present hand to celebrate the difference he has made to so many BLS students. Contributions are optional and every donation, regardless of amount, is gratefully accepted. Anyone who can't attend but still wishes to support the scholarship can do so by clicking here.

BLS Senior Performs at NEC Jordan Hall on Feb 15

Congratulations to Phuong Nghi Pham, a BLS Senior who performed on February 15 as the winner of the New England Conservatory Prep School's concerto competition. Phuong Nghi is a two-time Prizewinner of the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition and performed with the Boston Pops twice. She recently performed at Weill Recital Hall as a First Place winner in the International Crescendo Competition in January, 2013. 

She performed Chopin's Allegro Maestoso from his Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11.

BLS Big Band Has Been Selected As a Finalist in the 2014 Charles Mingus High School Competition

Charles Mingus

On January 5, Sue Mingus and Let My Children Hear Music/The Charles Mingus Institute and Justin DiCioccio and the  Manhattan School of Music announced finalists and an exciting lineup for the Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival weekend, February 14-17, 2014. Entries to this year’s Competition include big bands and combos from all over the nation.

The 2014 Festival will include events produced together with Manhattan School of Music as well as other events produced by Let My Children Hear Music. The Mingus Big Band will perform all weekend at Jazz Standard. On Sunday night, “outstanding soloists” from the Competition will have an opportunity to sit in with the band.

On Saturday a full day of clinics and workshops at the Manhattan School of Music will feature master classes for instruments and sections, lectures, films, and clinics that explore aspects of Mingus music, followed by a student Mingus jam. Prominent educators and musicians will participate in the clinics and adjudicate the competition on Sunday.

All events are open to the public. More details at


Boston Latin School Gospel Choir Sings Praise to Raise Funds for Their Upcoming Trip to Ithaca, New York

The BLS Gospel Choir performed February 8 at Global Ministries Christian Church in Dorchester. All proceeds will benefit the Gospel Choir's upcoming trip to the High School Gospel Music Invitational Festival at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.


New Flashes

The BLS Big Band will be competing at the Norwood Jazz Classic on Thursday, February 13 - the night before they head to NYC to compete in the 2014 Charles Mingus High School Jazz Festival.

The BLS Big Band performed at the Hynes Auditorium on February 8 as part of the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, featuring bands from all over the nation.

Chicago's Pritzler College Prep Jazz Band performed February 7 in the BLS Auditorium. The event was billed as an "urban jazz exchange concert."

The Yellow Submarine Improv Troupe had their first show of 2014, called "I Can't Believe It's Not Improv!" at the Black Box on February 7th. Stay posted for future dates!

Thirteen BLS students auditioned for the MMEA All State Festival and Five Were Selected.

Congratulations to the following BLS students who will be performing at the festival on Boston's waterfront and, later, a concert to be held at Symphony Hall on Saturday, March 22.

Charles Ma, III, Chorus Bass
Allen Yang, III, Concert Band Clarinet
Harry Xue, I, Jazz Band Alto Sax
Rachel Guen, II, Orchestra Violin
Leland Wu, III, Orchestra Violin

A record 88 BLS students from classes IV-VI auditioned for the MMEA Eastern District Junior District Festival to be held at Lincoln Sudbury High School on March 28 and 29. Here are the 35 students who were selected. Congratulations to them all!

Henry Lindeman
Aaron Shariff
Haoran Yu

Rodger Cawdette
Eric Chen
Peter Choi
Jehan Diaz
Jacqueline Kam
Angelica Samonte
Peter Wang

Mixed Chorus
Madeline Caruso
Richard Dang
Marcos Gomez
Joseph Griffith
Stephen Hart
Favour Igboenyesi
Emeka Ihionu
Andrew Luo
Patrick Mello
Jackson Petrella
Sophia Tang
Caroline Tevnan
Stefan Wong
Christina Yee
Amanda Yuan

Treble Chorus
Selina Banerjee
Isabella Carrasco
Portia Caruso
Eden Goncalves
Isabella Minacapilli
Paloma Ortiz
Angelique Rigas
Lily Wang
Katelyn Wilson
Irene Xu

A record 30 BLS students earned a spot at the Senior District Festival. They are, in alphabetical order: Chase Balayo, Robert Carney, Matt Carpino, Frances Choi, Evan Chung, Richard Fu, Elizabeth George, Rachel Guen, Nathan Hermida, Alex Hsia, Cole Johnson, Kyle Kumasaka, Jasmin Liu, Charles Ma, Paul Mikulskis, Jun Ang Ni, Kristina Paul, Anna Peng, Jasper Schilling, Chengfeng Shao, Xin Song, Lissette Velez-Cross, Victoria Wu, Leland Wu, Harry Xue, Allen Yang, Michael Yee, Mark Zhang, Shirley Zhou, and Clare Zhou.

With the able help of the BLS arts department, BLS students form class I, II, and VI sent in a record number of submissions to the Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition. Here are a handful of the winners.


Handel and Hayden Society Orchestra to Perform with Students at BLS on February 13 in the BLS Auditorium and Again at Symphony Hall on February 21 and 23.

On the morning of February 13 Handel & Haydn Society's professional orchestra and soloists will perform in the auditorium with the BLS Concert Choir. Later, the Concert Choir will have a unique experience performing live at Symphony Hall! The Symphony Hall concert will be a performance of Vivaldi Gloria.

Vivaldi Gloria: LEARN MORE ... BUY TICKETS


BLSA Sponsored After School Classes in "Drawing and Open Studios" and Ceramics Began October 2 and Extend to the End of the School Year

Classes began in October. Students, come learn new art techniques and meet friends! All ages and abilities are welcome and no prior experience is necessary.

On Wednesdays, Drawing & Open Studios will meet in Room 514 from 2:30-5:30pm. On Thursdays, Ceramics will meet in Room 518 from 2:30-5:30pm. Please see Ms. Walshak in Room 514 for more information and to sign up!

These classes are made possible through the generosity of the BLS community under the auspices of the BLSA.


BLS Hosted the Eastern District Festival

On January 10 and 11, 350 of the best musicians from the following towns converged on BLS to participate in the Eastern District Festival: Acton, Bedford, Boston, Boxborough, Brookline, Cambridge, Carlisle, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Lincoln, Littleton, Medfield, Millis, Milton , Natick, Needham, Newton, Quincy, Sherborn, Somerville, Sudbury, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Westford, Weston, and Westwood.


BLS Celebrated MLK Day with Musical
Performances at Northeastern and BLS

The BLS Big Big Band Performed at the BPS MLK Celebration at Northeastern University on January 16. The next day, BLS hosted its own MLK celebration at BLS, featuring the Gospel Choir , the Treble Choir, and the Big Band. The Big Band performed with a special guest who gave a great, inspiring speech about MLK's links to Boston.


Your Support Makes Art Happen
Become a member of the Friends of the Arts today

Did you know that over half of students at BLS participate in arts programs? That means over 1,000 students are involved in music, drama and visual art at BLS. The Friends of the Arts is a parent-led group that works closely with the faculty in the Arts Department to support these programs for our kids. You can help by becoming a member or by renewing your membership today by clicking on the links below.

Joint and pay by credit card....Join and pay by check

Please join us at our next meeting. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the 2nd floor BLS Arts Wing. Learn firsthand about all the activities and help FOA make a difference in your child's education.

Thank you!

Kristin Johnson and Christina Yee
FOA Parent Co-Chairs


Barker College Australia Says G'Day to BLS

Traveling the world is a wonderful way to learn about different peoples and cultures, but in a twist, the BLS Visual and Performing Arts Department brought the world to us. On Friday, December 6, Barker College Australia (actually a high school; they refer to high schools as colleges Down Under), visited BLS to perform for our students and to hear our students perform.

Barker Chamber Orchestra
The Barker Chamber Orchestra included all the string players in the Senior School, Years 10 - 12. The touring ensemble included some of those players and some from the Middle School.

The Chamber Orchestra is one of the College's leading ensembles and has toured to great acclaim to Europe in 2008 and to Argentina in 2001. The orchestra is constantly commended for the accuracy, liveliness and maturity of its playing. It has been successful in competitions in Australia, winning the String Orchestra section at the Sydney Eisteddfod four years in a row. Its members also have achieved success in individual and chamber music competitions over the years.

For the tour to the USA, the Chamber Orchestra presented repertoire from the classic string orchestra repertoire as well as works by both Australian and American composers. The orchestra also performed with the choir and presented both solo and small ensemble items.

Barker Tour Choir
The Barker Choral Program is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, with fourteen choirs catering for students from kindergarten through to year twelve. In addition there are several choruses for alumni and the wider community.

The 2013 Tour Choir was drawn from the members of Barker's 130 voice Senior Choir (un-auditioned chorus from years 10-12) and the prestigious Chamber Choir (30 voice-auditioned chorus drawn from years 11 and 12). Both Senior and Chamber Choir count numerous wins in the youth choir, sacred and chamber sections of the Sydney Eisteddfod and the Chamber Choir has multiple victories in the John Lamble Australasian Choral Championship. Choral groups from Barker have performed on national television and radio and toured to Europe, the UK and the USA. They also fulfill the duties of Barker College's Chapel Choir and have performed liturgically in many major churches in Australia and beyond.

For the tour of the USA the choir presented Christmas music from around the world, including Australian works unknown in the USA.


BLS Bands Joined the First BSO High School Open Rehearsal of the School Year in October and November, Will Return in March

Lots of people have attended BSO performances, but how many of us have experienced their rehearsals? The BSO's High School Open Rehearsals program offers students in grades 8-12 an opportunity to observe first-hand the rehearsal experience of a professional orchestra. Students share the rehearsal space with the orchestra, and they see and hear the conductor and musicians close up through a special on-stage screen. On October 10, the BLS Symphonic Band and the BLS Concert Strings Orchestra took a short walk to Symphony Hall to participate in this extraordinary opportunity.

The day started at 9:30 am with a Q&A session with a BSO musician, who described the music to be performed from a musician's perspective. The Q&A sessions was led by a BSO staff member. Armed with this additional perspective, students joined the rehearsal.

There are three open rehearsals scheduled for this school year: October 10November 21, and March 27. Other BLS bands are expected to participate in the November and March rehearsals. 

As a BPS accredited school, BLS is invited to send groups to these rehearsals for FREE due to special underwriting from the City of Boston. For all others, tickets are $10. To purchase, call SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200, purchase them online at, or purchase them at the Symphony Hall Box Office (for orders under 25 tickets).  A $1.50 handling fee per transaction applies. Discounts are available for groups of 25 or more.

To learn more, visit BSO's High School Open Rehearsal website at


BLS Show Choir Pizzaz Participated in the 2013 Bay State Show Choir Festival in Early November

The Baystate Show Choir Festival, now in it's 28th year, is a fun and useful opportunity for students and teachers alike to learn from talented clinicians and make life-long friends throughout the show choir world. The two-day festival began on Friday and culminated with a fabulousSaturday night showcase.

After Friday's welcoming activities, the assembled show choirs split themselves into two groups before working with renowned clinicians to learn a large group dance number. At Saturday night's showcase event, each show choir was given the opportunity to perform their repertoire in a fun, friendly, and non-competitive environment. The night reached a crescendo with the two big group numbers and closed with every group being brought on stage to sing a ballad. As a bonus, after the performance, each group was provided with a recorded critiques from the clinicians to take home and utilize. 


Cole Wennerholm '18 Won a National Gold Medal for Photography in the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Last year, fifteen Boston Latin School students won Gold Keys, Silver Keys, or honorable mentions in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The works of BLS' four Gold Key winners moved on to the national competition in New York City, where a photograph titled Poverty by Cole Wennerholm earned a Gold Medal.

Dating back to 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation's largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. Teens in grades 7 through 12 can apply in 28 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited or published. The works of BLS and other Boston area Gold and Silver key winners were displayed at the State Transportation Building. While some teens submit their work directly, most submissions are organized and submitted by teachers. In this case, BLS visual arts teacher Joe Carrigg helped Cole select and submit his winning photo.

About the Photo

Poverty by Cole Wennerholm

Wennerholm took the photo at a shanty town near Cape Town, South Africa while on a family trip. Wennerholm was walking down a dirt road when he encountered this scene and instinctively took the shot. According to Wennerholm, the divisions between rich and poor in Cape Town are quite stark, with concentrations of nice houses and shanty towns and little in between. According to Wikipedia (, the shanty towns around Cape Town were built by the apartheid era South African government to segregate people by color and ethnic origin.

To see a slightly larger photo and listen to Wennerholm talk about his photograph, visit this link. (


In October, BLS Gospel and Class V Choir Students Participated in Workshops and Were Invited to Attend Performance at Symphony Hall

Jazz @ Lincoln Center (JLCO) with Wynton Marsalis is the funder of the Abyssinian Mass Tour Education Project, an education project on the Abyssinian Mass commissioned to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. 

The Abyssinian Mass Tour Education Project is curated by Mass conductor Damien Sneed and utilizes the talents of gospel artist and educator Karla Scott. The program will engage thousands of young people across each community on the tour through three distinct components:
1. Study and Performance 
2. History 
3. Community engagement

The workshops are supported by a series of online videos that outline the history of gospel music, cultural background, and its relevant styles.  Gospel artist and educator Karla Scot visited BLS on October 18 to offer the students a clinic on rehearsal techniques directly related to selections from the Mass.

Following the workshops, a concert was held Sunday, Oct. 27, 7pm, at Symphony Hall with 70-voice gospel choir Chorale Le Chateau, conducted by Damien Sneed and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Students who participated in the workshops had the opportunity to attend the JLCO "Mass" performance and meet with Damien and JLCO members at sound checks and post performance receptions, furthering the discussions and experience of the music.


High School Nation and The John Lennon Tour Bus Stopped at the BLS Green in OctoberAs Part of a Nationwide Tour

Opened to R6 and R7 for Classes III and IV and all R6 and R7 art and music students for that day

For the past 10 years, High School Nation (HSN) has provided public high schools and middle schools with fun, free lunchtime entertainment. HSN has brought American Idols, Billboard topping musicians, and the best up and coming artists that today’s students want to see and hear, into public schools across the country. In September 2012, HSN launched The High School Nation Tour, a free music and arts appreciation assembly. The assembly is a 2 hour event, where students and staff come together to celebrate the arts. The assembly is a music festival style event that features live music, educational activities, interactive booths, and fun attractions. Download a PDF brochure of the fall 2013 tour here.

The purpose of The High School Nation Tour is to raise awareness of music and arts education in public schools. With budget cuts to public school music and arts programs, HSN understands that schools need assistance and we enjoy being able to play a role in keeping the arts alive. HSN contributes by making monetary and supply donations to each campus it visits. This includes funding, musical instruments, and art supplies.

Partnered with the John Lennon Tour Bus, High School Nation will be visiting 20 campuses in 16 states this Fall to bring an interactive assembly that school campuses have never seen.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. In its sixteenth year, with the very newest technology and gear, the Bus continues to be dedicated to providing young people with tours of the studios and participation in free songwriting and multimedia production workshops. With the assistance of three on-board engineers, students learn how to write, perform, record, and produce original songs, produce and shoot music videos and documentaries and complete a broadcast quality music video – all in one day!

A.R.T. for BLS Arts

In early November, the American Repertory Theatre worked with students in Boston Latin School's 8th grade theatre classes. A.R.T. offered an innovative curriculum that uses theatre skills to explore and encourage investment in the political process, such as the (then) upcoming mayoral election. The curriculum was connected to their first show of the season, All The Way, written by Robert Schenkkan and starring Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") as LBJ.

A.R.T. is a Cambridge-based professional theatre company and training program. A.R.T. is widely recognized for its work in Boston and the shows it has sent to Broadway.

BLS Musicians Performed at the Newport Jazz Festival

On a beautiful day in August, two BLS alumns, Willens Jean-Jules ’13 and Harry Xue ’13, performed as members of the Massachusetts All State Jazz Band at the famous Newport Jazz. Willens, lead trumpet, and Xue, alto sax, earned their spots in the band by receiving the top scores in the state at January’s All State Festival.

Conductor Steve Houghton, a famous jazz drummer in his own right, took the band through a one-hour set for a packed house. The set featured music the band performed earlier at Symphony Hall and a new music they worked on the day before the festival.

The Newport Jazz Festival was founded by George Wein in 1954 and Wein continues to lead it to this day. He has an obvious passion for jazz and is committed to ensuring it remains a vibrant part of America’s music scene, which is why he reached out to invite the Mass All State Jazz Band. If the band's performance was any indication, jazz has a new and exciting future, and BLS students will be part of it for generations to come.

Rachel Guen '15 to Perform with the 2013 NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville

Rachel Guen '15  has been selected as a member of the 2013 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Orchestra. Guen will join more than 670 of the most musically talented and skilled high school students in the United States to perform at a gala concert on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, in Nashville, TN.

The 2013 NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles, of which the All-National Honor Orchestra is one, will perform for an audience of thousands. Guen and other students will prepare and perform remarkably challenging music under the batons of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States:   Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth, and Rodney Whitaker.

For program and ticket information please visit

National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.


2013 Music Nights Concerts MP3s!
Listen to Boston Latin School's music groups' performances here.

2012 Holiday Concerts MP3s and slideshows are up! Listen to Boston Latin School's music groups' performances here. View photos of Night I here and Night II here. To view a particular ensemble, click the triangle inside a square located in the lower left-hand corner to bring up the menu.

You can also download a PDF copy of the concert program by clicking here (9.5MB). Thank you to all the businesses who advertised and the parents who signed up for shout-outs for their special artists.


Slides are up from BLS Theatre Company's 2012 Fall One-Acts, The Devil and Daniel Webster and Sorry, Wrong Number!
Click here to view. To view a specific play, click the triangle inside a square located in the lower left-hand corner to bring up the menu. To download any of the photos (by Gayle Lang) click here.


Check out these photos of the BLS show choir Pizzazz performing at the 28th Annual Baystate Show Choir Festival!
Click on the thumbnails to view larger.

Your Support Makes Art Happen

Become a member of the Friends of the Arts today.

Did you know that over half of students at BLS participate in arts programs? That means over 1,000 students are involved in music, drama and visual art at BLS. The Friends of the Arts is a parent-led group that works closely with the faculty in the Arts Department to support these programs for our kids. You can help by becoming a member or joining us at our next meeting. We meet on the first Wednesdayof each month from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the 2nd floor BLS Arts Wing.

Joint and pay by credit card....Join and pay by check

Thank you!

Kristin Johnson and Christina Yee
FOA Parent Co-Chairs