JULY 8, 1931


Born on the Quapaw reserve in Oklahoma, Louis’ name meant “Stands with Eagles.”  A high school musician, athlete & scholar, his Bachelors & Masters degrees were from Tulsa University; his doctorate from Santa Fe & William Jewell Colleges.  Ballard directed music & performing arts at Institute of American Indian Arts (1962-70) & music curricula for BIA schools.  His work, Incident at Wounded Knee (1974), was performed at Carnegie Hall.  He premiered at Carnegie, Smithsonian & Lincoln Center.  Other works:  Katcina Dances (1970); The Maid of the Mist and the Thunderbeings (1991); and Portrait of Will Rogers (1972).  His ballet, The Four Moons (1967) was danced by Indian prima ballerinas, Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, & Marjorie Tallchief.  Awarded Rockefeller, Ford & NEA grants, he earned a Lifetime Musical Achievement Award from First Americans in the Arts (1997) and Oklahoma’s Music Hall of Fame induction (2004).  He died February 9, 2007, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sources:  “Ballard, Louis Wayne (1931-  ), Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture.  Retrieved 5/26/2020, https://web.archive.org/web/20090105075641/http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/B/BA009.html “Dr. Louis Ballard—2004 Inductee,” Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.  Retrieved 5/24/2020, https://web.archive.org/web/20120925195210/http://www.omhof.com/Inductees/BYYEAR/tabid/86/ItemID/25/Default.aspx
Photo:  Oklahoma Publishing Company, 1967.  Courtesy of Oklahoma Historical Society (2012.201.B0312B.0293, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection, OHS).  Source: Ballard, Louis Wayne | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (okhistory.org) [Cropped].

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