Episode No. 66 Saturday, August 24, 2019 Dr. Steven Ball, Concert Organist, Church Musician, Carillonnuer, Director of Sacred Music at the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales, St. Louis, Missouri.
Steven Ball has recently been named as Director of Sacred Music at The Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri. The Oratory is famous for a unique and varied choral repertoire spanning several centuries and performed by numerous ensembles. The liturgies are conducted exclusively in Latin using the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the universal form of the Roman Catholic Liturgy before the changes which followed the Second Vatican Council. As such it provides a unique cultural and musical setting in which the music of some of the greatest composers for sacred choral and organ music can be heard in their original context.
A native of Michigan originally, Dr. Ball studied at the University of Michigan where he later went on to teach, serve as University Carillonneur, and the Director of the famous Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments. He received his DMA in 2007 as a student of Marilyn Mason. A former Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, Steven Ball is also well known for his work in the world of campanology (the study of bells), improvisation, as an organ consultant, for silent film accompaniment and as a theater organist. He has traveled and performed extensively in both the United States and abroad including concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Switzerland and Italy. He was inducted as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (a Papal Knighthood) in 2017.
He comes to this position from New Jersey where he last served as Organist and Director of Outreach (now Emeritus) for the world’s largest pipe organ located in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. His time there also included a position at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, PA. While serving on the faculty of the Organ Department at the University of Michigan, he also served as Cathedral Organist at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit and Senior Staff Organist at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.
St. Francis de Sales Oratory is one of the largest and most important examples of gothic revival architecture in the nation. Tied for 6th tallest church tower in the United States, it is located on historic Route 66 and is open daily for visitors. Named America’s most beautiful church in a recent nationwide contest, the church is served by priests from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
Today’s show is all about his work at the Oratory and the music for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (The Latin Mass).
MUSIC: Asperges Me Chant; Introit: Dignus est Agnus; Kyrie (Mass V); Gloria (Mass V); Gradual: Dominabitur; Credo (Mass V); Sanctus and Benedictus (Mass V); Agnus Dei (Mass V); Communion: Sedebit; March Gothique by Becker. Steven Ball Organist.