Texas Tech University

Departing Texas Tech School of Music Director to be Honored

Benjamin Robinette

May 25, 2017


William Ballenger will be honored with the naming of the "Great Ballenger Holtkamp Organ."

William Ballenger
William Ballenger

William Ballenger, who has directed and led the Texas Tech University School of Music within the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA) for the past 13 years, will be honored for his service through the renaming of the Great Holtkamp pipe organ in Hemmle Recital Hall.

Ballenger will transition to a new role as director of the School of Music for The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio on July 1. Keith Dye, associate dean of undergraduate and curricular issues, will serve as interim director of the School of Music for the 2017-18 academic year.

Great Ballenger Holtkamp Organ
"Great Ballenger Holtkamp Organ"

Ballenger has had a multitude of accomplishments since the beginning of his appointment at Texas Tech. One of his largest accomplishments was his year-long campaign to renovate the Great Holtkamp pipe organ in Hemmle Recital Hall, which had been in need of repair since its dedication in 1977. The campaign was titled "See Bill Run! Run, Bill, Run!" and had local communities rallying Ballenger, who promised to run 1,000 miles in order to help match funds of $175,000 provided in a challenge grant from the CH Foundation.

Keith Dye
Keith Dye

Ballenger's challenge was met with a large response. Commemorative T-shirts with the slogan "See Bill Run!" were released in October 2010. Nov. 16, 2010, marked the 400th mile of the campaign, and Ballenger joined forces with the Goin' Band from Raiderland and co-runners from all across Texas Tech for a campus run kicked off with a proclamation given by former TCVPA Dean Carol Edwards on the front steps of the School of Music.

On March 26, 2011, Ballenger successfully completed 1,000 miles. The matching of the challenge grant included an invitation in the collaborative spirit for all to run the final 3.1 miles with him.

As a dedication to Ballenger's efforts to raise the funds for the organ's renovation and his service to all of the initiatives and activities of the Texas Tech School of Music, it was voted by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents to name the organ the "Great Ballenger Holtkamp Organ." The plaque commemorating Mrs. Tommye A. Moss' generous financial gifts to ensure the 1977 acquisition of the organ will be re-commissioned to read as follows:

In appreciation
Tommye A. Moss
Odessa, Texas
Patroness of the Arts
Of the
Great Ballenger Holtkamp Organ
The Recital Hall
Dedicated February 13, 1977

The archival of blog posts documenting Ballenger's campaign to save the Great Holtkamp Organ can be viewed here.

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