Chair, Department of Music, Professor of Music
Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from Kent State University
M.M. in Theory/Composition and Conducting from Eastern Washington University
B.A. in Music Education from Central Washington University
Recent Scholarly Work
Academic presentations are as diverse as his paper on film scoring for the 2006 Cinema Studies Conference in Los Angeles, Raising Emotion in the Heroic Film, to 2008's Society for Ethnomusicology presentation, Navajo Gospel: A Struggle in Faith, Culture, and Style. He has also been involved in the International Association for Jazz Education, ranging from performing to delivering an address entitled Approach Chords: An Avenue for Resolution in Composition and Improvisation in 2008.
Jack Ballard, Ph.D. has composed and produced music in a variety of genres, from classical and film music to jazz and bluegrass. He studied under Gunther Schuller, Wendell Jones, Arthur Post, David Maddux, and Frank Wiley, and received degrees from Central Washington and Eastern Washington Universities. His half-dissertation on hyperextended tertian sonority is from Kent State University. Its initial research received the Bruce Benward Student Music Theory Award in 2007.
He also writes music for dramas, films, videos and national radio shows, including the award-winning Adventures in Odyssey, and is experienced in digital audio and video editing. Also an award recipient for his symphonic and popular writing, he is a member of ASCAP, IAJE, Society of Composers, and the Society of Composers and Lyricists. As an educator, his years in higher education produced and influenced such internationally recognized Grammy-nominees and performers as Jars of Clay, Sarah Jahn, Dom Liberati, Joe Vitale, Jr., and Smalltown Poets. Other former students engineer, write and perform in the music, radio and advertising industries. He presently teaches music production and composition at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
Probably the best known representation of his diversity in styles and instrumentation is his collection of The Psalms (REX Music, 1994), which includes such jazz notables as Alex AcuÃ±a, David Friesen, Fletch Wiley, Tom Patitucci, and others, and members of the Oregon Symphony. "Flawless" writes New Man Magazine. "So unique and creative, it breaks new artistic ground" from National Religious Broadcaster. "A great collection:" Moody Monthly. Of his symphonic poem for orchestra, The Traveler's Psalm, the Durango Herald wrote: "Enchanting, lyrical and polished to the point that it sounded as if it were the work of one of our time-honored masters."
Ballard's production company, Kiwi bird Creative Services, specializes in production that develops popular and classical style integration, such as film scoring and eclectic CD projects. The company markets its services in the film world as being genre- and period- specific and prides itself on being able to do original and unique scores culturally supportive of period, ethnic, and exotic settings.
His pieces incorporate classical and ethnic styles throughout the world, but especially New World and Old World styles that contributed to the development of music in North and South America. He has written for jazz band and combo (Common Vision, Kiwi bird Records, 2003), original music in bluegrass and folk styles (Long Time Coming, Kiwi bird Music, 2002, Great Train Songs, Coal, Iron, and Steel, The Cook Brothers, and Mountain Songs, with two-time national flatpicking winner, Gary Cook), and rock (On the Fly, with guitarist Phil Keaggy, Canis Major Records).
His choral works include pieces in both jazz and classical traditions (published by Sound Music Publication, Seattle, WA). The original vocal jazz piece, Great Mystery, was recently covered by national jazz artist, David Wells (Friday Afternoon, Nuance Records), and he is working on a large-scale Christmas oratorio for choir and orchestra entitled Incarnatus Dei. Other jazz arrangements include Green Dolphin Street, Come Sunday, But Beautiful, Fascinatin' Rhythm and others.