Senior music education student Christopher Ballentine has been named as one of five Penn State seniors to receive the University’s 2015 John W. Oswald Award. Established in 1983, the award annually recognizes graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership in at least one of several areas of activity at the University. The award consists of a medallion honoring John W. Oswald, president of the University from 1970 to 1983.
The son of Andrew and Ann Marie Ballentine, Chris will receive his degree in May 2015 after completing his student teaching experience in the North Hills School District. He is a graduate of Easton Area High School in Easton, Pennsylvania. A trumpet player, his primary teacher was Langston J. Fitzgerald III. He won the Jury Honors Award two semesters and the Jury Recognition Award in Spring 2014. He was also an active member of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association, and organized a regional workshop held at Penn State while serving as Region III coordinator for the organization’s state board. Chris is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society.
While a student at Penn State, Chris was actively involved in several ensembles, including leading the 68-member trumpet section of the Marching Blue Band for two years, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Bands (Inner/ Centre Dimensions), and various chamber ensembles. Additionally, Chris he was a member of the 2014 Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, and has worked with the Easton Area High School “Red Rover” Marching Band during summer band camp for two years. After graduation, he plays to seek employment in the public schools of Pennsylvania.
“Ballentine is one of the University’s most talented musicians,” said a nominator. “He’s a gifted trumpeter and a well-rounded musician who excels in a variety of performance styles and genres.” The nominator added that Chris demonstrated the rare ability to motivate his peers and to strive for excellence while being engaging and positive.
Chris was thrilled and honored to receive the University’s prestigious award. “It is very humbling to receive an award of such distinction and I could not be more thankful for all the opportunities I had at Penn State and all the great people I had the honor to work with. I have so many great peers that would also be deserving of a distinction, and I am very honored to have been selected as a recipient. I will continue to do my best to make a difference on future generations and try to make an impact on the world.”