Reviews: [The Psalms] is fresh and invigorating each time you come back to it. That much is clear. What isn’t as easy to pin down is exactly what musical box The Psalms fits into. . . The variety alone makes this album worth owning; the flawless quality of its arrangements and execution throws it over the edge of good to great! Just when your mind catches a melody, Ballard throws in another instrument, lays down subtle harmony in the background or takes the whole thing in another direction altogether. Suddenly you realize that nothing else would have sufficed at that very moment. New Man Magazine (July/August, 1995)
Jack Ballard, PhD, is a Fulbright Scholar (Kenya, 2013) who has composed and produced music from classical and film 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 dissertation on hyperextended tertian sonority is from Kent State. Its research received the Bruce Benward Student Music Theory Award in 2007. His piece, “Lament,” for orchestra, received the Ipark Foundation’s Thanatopolis Prize for Memorial Composition in 2010. His diversity in styles and instrumentation is his song cycle The Psalms, which included performances by Alex Acuña, David Friesen, Fletch Wiley, Tom Patitucci, and members of the Oregon Symphony. His pieces often 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 recently completed a large scale opera based on the life and times of a recording studio, and is working on the final movement of his fifth symphony.
“The things Jack Ballard taught us regarding building songs, musical styles and music theory we use all the time now when writing songs.” Platinum recording artists and Grammy nominees, Jars of Clay, GC Record interview, 1997 "The world premiere of Jack Ballard's "The Traveler's Psalm" was played stunningly . . . Ballard's composition was enchanting, lyrical and polished to the point that it sounded as if it were the work of one of our time-honored masters. The Durango Herald, November 18, 2003