Steve Ballard

TJHSST Director of Bands, TJMC Director, and TJ Drum Line Director

Steve Ballard,
TJHSST Director of Bands, TJMC Director, and TJ Drum Line Director

In July 2020, TJ Bands welcomed Steve Ballard as the new Director of Bands at TJHSST. Mr. Ballard, an alumnus of W.T. Woodson High School, went on to attend Ithaca College in New York.  At Ithaca College, he received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Performance, studying primarily under world-renowned percussionist Gordon Stout, and a Master of Music in Music Education, with Dr. Keith Kaiser as his primary advisor. A Fairfax County Public Schools elementary band director at Fort Hunt and Woodley Hills ES from 2003 until 2020, Mr. Ballard served as the Associate Director of TJ’s bands since the winter of 2003-04, working with the TJ drum line and marching band for 17 years. With TJ, he has won multiple State and Regional Marching Band Championships, the AIA A and Open Class Indoor Drum Line Championships and placed as an A Class Finalist and an Open Class Semi-finalist at the WGI World Championships. He is a Vic Firth endorsed music educator, a member of NAfME, and a regular performer with the Fairfax Wind Symphony. Mr. Ballard met his wife, Samantha, through her long-time involvement at TJHSST.  Samantha serves as the color guard director and primary show designer for all of TJ’s fall and winter marching ensembles.

Read More about Mr Ballard’s experience in the marching arts

How it all started…

Steve Ballard has been involved in the marching arts since 1987, when his oldest brother joined the brass section of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Steve’s parents volunteered, cooking meals on tour, and Steve tagged along from the time he was seven years old. While at a rehearsal camp in 1988, Steve joined in with one of the front ensemble rehearsals, learning to play for the first time, although he could only keep up for a few minutes.  He remained a spectator during the next few seasons, but eventually became a member himself, and ultimately held the same position as the instructor who had taught him those first notes many years earlier. 


Steve has been teaching and arranging for high school drum lines across the country since 1997, and has extensive performance and leadership experience with prestigious percussion ensembles. Mr. Ballard was the Northern Region Percussion Coordinator for the Atlantic Indoor Association for two years. His performance experience includes membership in the front ensemble of the Crossmen and Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, for a combined five years. His drum line teaching experience includes time with the Crossmen and Colts Drum and Bugle Corps.  He was a member of the percussion staff for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps from 2007 through the 2013 season, when they won the DCI World Championship, and he was a consultant to their percussion staff in 2016 and 2017.  In 2009, Steve joined the staff of United Percussion Indoor Drum Line, a perennial WGI World Class Finalist, where he served as front ensemble supervisor from 2010 through 2013.  In 2014, Steve began working in his current position as a front ensemble instructor with Spirit of America Winter Percussion from Orleans, MA, the 2015 WGI Independent Open Class World Champion. In addition, he has been a percussion consultant for the George Mason University drum line in various seasons through its history.  


Graduate of:

  • Ithaca College
  • W. T. Woodson High School

Currently teaches:

  • TJHSST Director of Bands (2020-present)

Previously taught: