Music Education senior receives University Leadership Award

Stephanie Swindle
April 09, 2015

Christopher Ballentine, a senior majoring in music education in the School of Music, is one of five recipients of the 2015 John W. Oswald Award, in the field of creative and performing arts.

The John W. Oswald Award, established in 1983, annually recognizes graduating seniors at Penn State who have provided outstanding leadership in at least one of several areas of activity at the University. It consists of a medallion honoring John W. Oswald, president of the University from 1970 to 1983.

“It is very humbling to receive such an award, and I could not be more thankful for all of the opportunities I had at Penn State and all of the great people I had the honor to work with. I have so many great peers that would also be so deserving of a distinction,” said Ballentine.

Ballentine is a four-year member of the Penn State Blue Band. He has been section leader, overseeing 68 trumpet players, for the past two years.

“There are many things I am blessed to have experienced at Penn State, but few come as close to the experiences I have had with the Blue Band. There are not many other times in my life when I will be able to say I played for 100,000-plus people, marched on the field of Beaver Stadium, got to travel internationally with Penn State, or met the amazing people that have become great friends,” he said.

According to Ballentine, serving as section leader in the Blue Band has influenced his teaching.

“Having the experience to stand in front of my peers has been a great asset to my teaching, especially in learning how to run a rehearsal independently, learn various techniques in teaching, gain conducting experience, and learn how to teach to varying levels of ability while meeting the needs of the vast majority," he said. "The privilege of being section leader has also given me experience in how to be an effective leader, and I could not thank the band enough and the trumpet section for letting me discover myself and my abilities as a leader."

He also served as Region III representative of the Penn State chapter of the National Association for Music Education and has received three jury recognition awards from the School of Music, which are given to one student from each musical area each semester.

“Ballentine is one of the University’s most talented musicians,” said his nominator. “He’s a gifted trumpeter and a well-rounded musician who excels in a variety of performance styles and genres.”

After graduation, Ballentine plans to teach music education in Pennsylvania.

“I am very excited to be able to apply everything I have worked towards in school to my teaching. It has been an awesome academic journey at Penn State, and I am hopeful that I can make a difference in future students’ lives, like my previous teachers have made on mine.”

  • Blue Band Trumpet Guides in Ireland

    The Blue Band Trumpet Guides performed in Ireland this fall.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Section Warm Ups before Game

    The section warms up before a game.

    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated April 10, 2015