Malone University’s Jack Ballard is OME Call for Scores Winner
April 11, 2014 | Release # 6897
Jack Ballard, Ph.D., chair, Department of Music and professor of music at Malone University was recently notified that he is the 2014 "Oh My God, My Body, My Ears" (OME) 10-hour marathon concert 'Call for Scores' winner.
His composition, Dances, is a piece for solo violin. Program notes follow:
"Dances" developed out of the composer's heritage in the Western United States and his love for the culture and its influences. One of these influences was the infusion of Chinese laborers for the railroad and other employment. As with any immigration, the native culture contributed to the new land, and China was not an exception. There are parallels between the American and Chinese folk cultures, notably allegories between the erhu and the Appalachian fiddle, and the pentatonic sound. "Dances" is a programmatic attempt to imagine the Chinese immigrant coming to America. Its melodies and techniques are not intended to be perfect quotations of the cultures, but to infer the sound of the erhu at the beginning, American bluegrass at the end, and the fusing of the two in the middle, as the Chinese immigrant contributes to the culture of the American West.
Dr. Ballard has composed and produced music in a variety of genres, from classical and film music to jazz and bluegrass. He worked with Gunther Schuller, Wendell Jones, Arthur Post, David Maddux, and Frank Wiley, and received B.A.Ed and M.M. degrees from Central Washington and Eastern Washington Universities. His half-dissertation on hyperextended tertian sonority is from Kent State University and its initial research received the Bruce Benward Student Music Theory Award in 2007. His ballet, The Castle for orchestra, received the Ipark Foundation's Thanatopolis Prize for Memorial Composition for the movement, "Lament."
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." Probably the best-known representation of his diversity in styles and instrumentation is his song cycle The Psalms (released on REX Music, 1994), which includes such notables as Alex Acuña, David Friesen, Fletch Wiley, Tom Patitucci, and members of the Oregon Symphony. "So unique and creative, it breaks new artistic ground" from National Religious Broadcaster. "A great collection:" Moody Monthly.
His pieces often incorporate classical and ethnic styles throughout the world, but especially New World and Old World music that contribute to cultures in North and South America. Ballard's production company, Kiwibird Creative Services, specializes in production that requires popular, ethnic and classical style integration, such as film scoring and eclectic CD projects. His current work is a CD of vocal jazz, classical and original vocal music with his band, Mourning to Dancing.
For more information, visit the OME website here.
Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2014,has been awarded the designation Military Friendly School by Victory Media, and is named to AffordableCollegesOnline (ACO)’s Best Lifetime Return on Investment list for the State of Ohio.
Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
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