Dr. D. Brent Ballweg, Burton H. Patterson professor of music and director of choral activities at OBU, recently was presented with the Director of Distinction Award by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association.
The award was given for "outstanding leadership and high standards in choral music in Oklahoma." The association's president, Dr. Darla Eshelman, presented the award during the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association summer convention July 8-10 at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Ballweg conducts OBU's University Chorale and Bison Glee Club. Additionally, he teaches courses in conducting, choral procedures and choral literature in OBU's Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts. A graduate of OBU, Ballweg earned a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In addition to his work at OBU, Ballweg is beginning a two-year presidency of the American Choral Directors Association's Southwestern Division, which includes Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is the primary professional choral organization in the United States whose purpose is to "inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition and advocacy."
"OBU is proud to have faculty like Dr. Ballweg who, while maintaining a busy teaching, rehearsal and performance schedule with our choral groups on Bison Hill, make commitments to leadership in outstanding professional organizations like the ACDA," said Dr. Ken Gabrielse, dean of the College of Fine Arts. "This is an honor that reflects Brent's commitment to the craft of teaching and making music with his students and shaping lives through the integration of faith and art. We are fortunate to have him back on Bison Hill for the best years of his outstanding career."
Previously, Ballweg held college and university conducting positions in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona and Missouri, and he has served as the artistic director and conductor of the Plano (Texas) Civic Chorus, assistant director of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, and founder and director of the Northeast Arkansas Chorale.
In 1986, Ballweg won first place in a national choral conducting competition held in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1996, he was invited to represent the United States as a participant in a conducting master class at the International Federation for Choral Music Fourth World Symposium on Choral Music and World Choirs Festival held in Sydney, Australia. In 1997, Ballweg was invited to conduct in master classes with the Phoenix Bach Choir at the Southwest Conductor's Symposium. In January 2008, he made his NYC Carnegie Hall conducting debut with MidAmerica Productions.
Ensembles under Ballweg's direction have performed as invited honor choirs for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association conference and have toured to Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Mexico and Russia. Ballweg also remains active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator for various music contests, festivals and workshops across the country.