Celebration of life for faculty member Mark Ballora to be held Sept. 29

August 30, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A celebration of the life of Penn State School of Music faculty member Mark Ballora, who died unexpectedly on July 18, will be held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 29, in the Recital Hall in Music Building I. The public is invited to celebrate Ballora with words and music. 

His family has requested that memorial gifts be made to the Penn State School of Music. Checks can be made payable and delivered to Penn State, 1 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802, or gifts can be made online via credit card. All gifts will be directed by the Penn State School of Music in consultation with the family to best celebrate Ballora’s academic legacy.  

Ballora joined the Penn State faculty in 2000. He was a devoted and dynamic professor of music technology, as well as a affiliate faculty member in the School of Theatre and the newly appointed director of the Arts & Design Research Incubator at the time of his death.

A leader in the field of sonification, Ballora's projects translated a wide variety of datasets into immersive soundscapes for research and educational purposes, including cardiac rhythms, computer network access data and cosmic microwave background radiation. His book, "Digital Audio and Acoustics for the Creative Arts," was published by Oxford University Press in 2016 and was lauded as a fundamental resource on acoustics and recording technology.

 As a faculty member, Ballora and School of Theatre professor Curtis Craig started a minor in music composition and technology together, which then became an area of study for students wanting to combine their passions for music and theatre.

He is survived by his wife, Agatha Wang, who teaches flute and piano in State College and is director of the Nittany Valley Symphony Youth Flute Choir; his son, Ian; a brother, Greg; and their parents.

Last Updated August 30, 2019