Mrs. Eva Rouse,,
room E250


Named a Gold Level Program of Excellence by KMEA for the past nine years, the Ballard High School Orchestra program has in fact enjoyed a long history of excellence. All of the orchestras have consistently received Distinguished ratings at the KMEA Orchestra Assessment for the past 43 years. The Chamber Orchestra was selected to perform as a featured ensemble at the 2010 KMEA Music Educators’ Convention and has performed four other times there, including a 2002 performance of the Durufle Requiem with the Ballard Choir.

The orchestra program has been selected for the annual WKU Orchestra Invitational three times, most recently in 2013. In both 2013 & 2014, the Chamber Orchestra was invited to perform at the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, with Mr. Ali and his family in attendance. Honorees included President Jimmy Carter, Susan Sarandon, Michael Bolton, & Christina Aguilera.

The recipient of five gold medals at past international music festivals, the orchestra received first place honors and was named an “ensemble of excellence” at the 2002 Festival of Excellence in Chicago. In 2000, the group won first place and was named Grand Champion of Orchestras at the All-Star Music Festival in Orlando, Florida. In 2005, the orchestra was selected to perform as a featured ensemble at the Magic Music Days festival at Disneyworld in Orlando. In 2015, the orchestras received distinguished ratings from adjudicators at the inaugural Blue Bridge Music Festival in Owensboro (KY). Each year, many students are selected by personal audition as members of the KMEA AllState Orchestra and the JCPS All-County Orchestra. For the 2018-19 school, year, Ballard placed 3 musicians in the All-State Orchestra and 20 in the All-County Orchestra. In 2004, Ballard had the second-highest number of All-State musicians in the state. In 2016, Ballard had 21 students accepted to the All-County Orchestra, the highest number in the orchestra program’s history.

Students also participate in the KMEA Solo & Ensemble Festival each year, with most students earning Distinguished ratings. Ballard Orchestra students also participate in numerous musical activities outside of school, including the elite University of Louisville String Academy, the Louisville Youth Orchestra, the Abrams’ Kids program sponsored by the Louisville Orchestra, and private lessons. During Mrs. Rouse’s tenure at Ballard, the orchestra program has grown from one to three performing string orchestras. The orchestras present numerous performances each year, including a program featuring senior concerto soloists. The Chamber Orchestra has performed many times with the Ballard choir and has joined members of the Ballard band for full orchestra performances as well as for pit orchestra performances for drama productions. They have also collaborated with other JCPS high school orchestra programs for events such as the popular “Orchestrapalooza,” as well as with the University of Louisville Symphony. Additionally, the Ballard Orchestra String Quartet performs regularly for community and district events—most recently for the Vogt Scholarship Luncheon and as the featured string quartet with the touring production of Beatles Vs. Stones.

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