Though Oakland Technical High School students have been playing music in band, orchestra and choir classes since 1915, the Jazz Band is a relative newcomer having only been playing for 60 years and the choir is coming back in the fall of 2019 after an absence of around 20 years. Over the last 15 years the program has been rejuvenated through the efforts of teachers David Byrd, Helena Jack and the current music director, Ted Allen. The Oakland Tech music program has received three grants from the Grammy Museum for excellence in music education and the jazz band won 4th place at the Reno Jazz Festival in 2017 and 2nd place in 2019, as well as earning a Unanimous Superior rating at the CMEA Jazz East Festival. The music program currently offers classes in jazz, orchestra, piano choir, and guitar and has recently hosted professional mentors from the Oakland Symphony, SFJazz, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
WHAT’S NEW IN THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT