In July of 2020, Steve Ballard assumed the role of Director of Bands at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Ballard had previously been the winter percussion director and associate marching band director for TJHSST since 2004. Beginning in 2003, Mr. Ballard also served as an elementary school band director at Fort Hunt and Woodley Hills Elementary Schools in Fairfax County, Virginia. During those 17 years, he taught 4 th – 6 th grade beginning and developing band students as they took their first steps toward a lifetime of music-making.
Mr. Ballard’s own first steps were guided by his high school band director, John Casagrande, who encouraged him to attend Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. In 2001, Mr. Ballard received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Percussion Performance, studying primarily under the world-renowned percussionist Gordon Stout. In 2003, he earned his Master of Music in Music Education, with Dr. Keith Kaiser as his primary advisor.
Since 2004, in addition to his work in public education, Mr. Ballard has been a part-time percussion instructor for Spirit Winter Percussion, a program offered through the Arts Empowering Life Foundation in Orleans, Massachusetts. He is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, NAfME, and VMEA, and a frequent performer with the Fairfax Wind Symphony.
Mr. Ballard has also been heavily involved with the marching arts for nearly 25 years. He was a longtime member of the faculties of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, United Percussion, and George Mason University Winter Drum Line, and many other world-class DCI, DCA, and WGI ensembles. He has written for, judged, and taught band programs and percussion ensembles all over the country. Mr. Ballard has learned from and worked with some of the world’s best percussion and music educators, too numerous to list. He met his wife, Samantha, through her long-time involvement at Thomas Jefferson HSST, as the color guard director and primary show designer for all of TJ’s winter and fall marching ensembles. Steve and Samantha Ballard now live in Manassas, Virginia, with their children, Crystal and Brayden.