J. Stanley Ballinger

Portrait of Ballinger

J. Stanley Ballinger, born in Liberal, Kansas in 1925, began playing violin at the age of nine, inspired by his father, a bluegrass fiddle player. In high school, Ballinger began his formal violin studies with Leoti Newland and went on to study with NBC violinist and conductor David Robertson. Ballinger received his Bachelor’s degree in violin from the University of Wichita, Kansas in 1950. Prior to attending college, Ballinger served briefly as a pilot in the U.S. Naval Air Corps. In 1952 Ballinger earned his master's degree in violin from Oberlin Conservatory.

For the next several years Ballinger held the position of Assistant Professor at Fort Hays Kansas State College, where he served as Orchestra Director and taught conducting and string instruments. Ballinger returned to Oberlin from 1958-1963, serving as Assistant and Acting Dean of the Conservatory. During this period, he also directed the Oberlin Orchestra and Collegiate Symphony and organized a Stravinsky festival. After leaving Oberlin, Ballinger attended the University of Illinois, where he earned his PhD in viola and conducting.

In 1965, Ballinger assumed the position of Chairman of the Music Department at Northern Illinois University that he retained until coming to New England Conservatory in 1977. While at NIU, Ballinger greatly increased the size of the department while becoming more selective in terms of musical ability. Under Ballinger’s leadership, several faculty ensembles were formed or affiliated with the department including the Vermeer Quartet, the Chicago Brass Quintet, the Electric Stereoptican, the Blackearth Percussion Group and the Illinois Chamber Orchestra.

Ballinger served as President of NEC from 1977-1982. After that time, Ballinger  became an active member of the Meher Spiritual Center near Myrtle Beach, SC. This is a spiritual retreat named for the Indian spiritual leader, Meher Baba. His extensive spiritual research and writings, including travels to India, were the focus of his later years. At the time of his sudden death on November 1, 2007, he was working to complete the foreword for a book he felt was ready for publication.

Physical description

The Ballinger Papers contain approximately 1.2 lin. ft. (One record carton and one document case). The contents of this collection are entirely paper files with the exception of two sheets of photographic proofs.


This collection includes the materials created by, and belonging to J. Stanley Ballinger, who served as President of New England Conservatory from 1977-1982. The materials in this collection have been stored at NEC since Ballinger’s tenure.


Access to the Ballinger Papers is granted by the Archivist. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. There are limited restrictions pertaining to this collection.


All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Archivist or Director of Library Services. This collection should be cited as: NECA 1.9.  J. Stanley Ballinger Papers, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston. MA.

Scope & Content

The J. Stanley Ballinger Papers are organized into twelve series:

  1. Correspondence/Memoranda
  2. Faculty Files
  3. Academic Department Files
  4. Administrative Department Files
  5. Committee Records
  6. Curriculum Records
  7. Student Organization Records
  8. Gifts/Fundraising Records
  9. Special Event Records
  10. Subject Files
  11. External Files
  12. Photographs

The first series includes general correspondence from the years 1977-1982; correspondence with NEC staff members; correspondence with NEC students/parents; selected correspondence with Gunther Schuller, Chester Williams, and the Alumni Club of Puerto Rico; and memoranda to faculty and the NEC Community.

The Faculty files series contains correspondence between individual faculty members and President Ballinger.  Also included in this series is one folder concerning NEC faculty members who were also members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Important materials contained in the Academic Department Files include reviews/proposals/structural changes involving the departments of Afro-American/Jazz Studies, Third Stream, Organ, Opera, Liberal Arts / Humanities, and Theory /Composition.

The Ballinger collection contains a small number of Administrative Department Files including those of Building Operations, Dean’s Office, Development, Libraries, Placement Office, and Residence Life.  Of particular interest are the Building Operations records. Some of these document a refurbishment project for the Jordan Hall foyer. Planning/proposal documents for this project from the architectural firm Forbes, Hailey, Jeas and Erneman are found in this file. Other important Building Operations records include: a Facilities Transition Plan to make the campus handicap accessible, information concerning the use of the 295 Huntington Ave. building, and materials concerning the possible acquisition of Fisher Hill property in Brookline for expansion. Other topics covered in the Administrative Department files include the use of the College Center as a mental health facility; considerations in designing an NEC publicity brochure; the future status of the Placement Office; a Residence Hall Judiciary System; and the criteria for selecting a Resident Assistant.  Finally, Ballinger’s administrative papers also detail the activities of the Community Services Department under the direction of Webster Lewis. Community Services records focus specifically on the New England Conservatory Magnet 636 Project, Supplementary Music, conducted at the Madison Park Annex during the 1976-1977 academic year.

The fifth series consists of records of the following committees: Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Composition/Theory Committee, Evaluation Committee, Governing Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, and the Steering Committee. Among the most significant of the committee records is a report submitted by Ballinger to the Long Range Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees in March 1980. This report discusses the present state of affairs at NEC, and makes recommendations for NEC’s mission and goals, as well as improvements for students, faculty, programs and facilities. Two of the primary administrative topics evaluated during Ballinger’s years were the salary structure for faculty and guidelines for faculty promotions. These issues
are addressed in the records of the Evaluation Committee, Governing Committee, and the Steering Committee.

Further steps toward the establishment of the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program begun during Gunther Schuller’s tenure, are recounted in Ballinger’s Curriculum Records. Also documented in this sixth series are the Conservatory's affiliations with the Kodaly Center of America, the Kodaly Institute (Hungary), the Kodaly Musical Training Institute, the Orff Institute and Tufts University. These files also highlight discussions of joint programs between NEC and Harvard University and the Liszt Academy of Music.

Student Organization Records involve Ballinger’s interactions with the Committee for Concerned Students and the Student Council, including a Jazz Department student questionnaire.

Gifts/Fundraising records include general gift acknowledgements, foundation gift records (including the Rockefeller Foundation), correspondence with members of the Friends organization, scholarship donations, Challenge NEH grant matching gift acknowledgements, Warren Benevolent Fund materials, and non-financial gifts to NEC.

Ballinger's Special event files include records of formal NEC events such as Ballinger’s Inauguration, Convocation (1978) and Commencements (1978-1982). Other special events which took place at NEC during Ballinger’s presidency are: a Broadway review, a meeting of the New England-China Consortium, a concert given by the Contemporary Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, a benefit concert for NEC, and the premiere performance of Ray Luke’s opera Medea. This opera was awarded first prize in a 1979 competition jointly sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and NEC.

Subject files of interest contain materials relating to the Voice of Firestone collection, the Gunther Schuller Center for American Music and the production of an LP recording of NEC’s Stravinsky Celebration by Crest Records. Another subject file documents discussions regarding an NEC-Boston Conservatory merger. Other subject files consist of correspondence regarding the selection of Ballinger as President of NEC, a music education editorial written by Ballinger for Ovation magazine, and biographical information about Ballinger.

Ballinger’s External files document NEC’s participation in several Boston area arts initiatives and organizations. These include the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, Public Action for the Arts, Neighborhood Music School, Boston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Paddock Island Art Park proposal (headed by Massachusetts College of Arts), the Massachusetts Design Council and the Consortium Task Force. This task force was comprised of representatives from the Boston Architectural Center, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and NEC. Also significant is correspondence with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) regarding the Kodaly program at NEC.

Photographs consist of two sheets of professional proofs taken of President Ballinger for publicity purposes.


Container List

Series 1:  Correspondence/Memoranda

Box 1 – Folder 1
Correspondence, General, 1977
Box 1 – Folder 2
Correspondence, General, 1978
Box 1 – Folder 3
Correspondence, General, 1979
Box 1 – Folder 4
Correspondence, General, 1980
Box 1 – Folder 5
Correspondence, General, 1981
Box 1 – Folder 6
Correspondence, General, 1982
Box 1 – Folder 7
Correspondence, Staff
Box 1 – Folder 8
Correspondence, Students
Box 1 – Folder 9
Memoranda to NEC Community
Box 1 – Folder 10
Memoranda to Faculty
Box 1 – Folder 11
Correspondence, Gunther Schuller
Box 1 – Folder 12
Correspondence, Chester Williams
Box 1 – Folder 13
Correspondence, Alumni Club of Puerto Rico

Series 2: Faculty Files

Box 1 – Folder 14
Faculty, General
Box 1 – Folder 15
Faculty, BSO members
Box 1 – Folder 16
Faculty - Battisti, Frank
Box 1 – Folder 17
Faculty – Blake, Ran
Box 1 – Folder 18
Faculty – Brink, Robert
Box 1 – Folder 19
Faculty – Ceely, Robert
Box 1 – Folder 20
Faculty – Cogan, Robert
Box 1 – Folder 21
Faculty – DeLay, Dorothy
Box 1 - Folder 21b
Faculty - DeVaron, Lorna Cooke
Box 1 – Folder 22
Faculty – Epstein, Frank
Box 1 – Folder 23
Faculty – Felice, John
Box 1 – Folder 24
Faculty - Genovese, Alfred
Box 1 – Folder 25
Faculty - Halprin, Lee
Box 1 – Folder 26
Faculty – Hayashi, Yuko
Box 1 – Folder 27
Faculty – Heiss, John
Box 1 – Folder 28
Faculty – Hodam, Helen
Box 1 – Folder 29
Faculty – Hoffmann, James
Box 1 – Folder 30
Faculty – Hollenbeck, Patrick
Box 1 - Folder 31
Faculty - Jochum, Veronica
Box 1 – Folder 32
Faculty - Krasner, Louis
Box 1 – Folder 33
Faculty - Moore, Richard
Box 1 – Folder 34
Faculty – Nagel, Robert
Box 1 – Folder  35
Faculty – Pearson, Mark
Box 1 – Folder 36
Faculty – Pinkham, Daniel
Box 1 – Folder 37
Faculty – Pittman, Richard
Box 1 - Folder 38
Faculty - Radnofsky, Kenneth
Box 1 – Folder 39
Faculty – Rapier, Wayne
Box 1 – Folder 40
Faculty – Rosenbaum, Victor
Box 1 – Folder 41
Faculty – Row, Peter
Box 1 – Folder 42
Faculty – Russell, George
Box 1 – Folder 43
Faculty – Stumpf, Thomas
Box 1 - Folder 44
Faculty - Sullivan, Robert
Box 1 - Folder 45
Faculty - Sutton, Julia
Box 1 – Folder 46
Faculty – Zander, Benjamin
Box 1 – Folder 47
Faculty - Zaritzky, Gerald
Series 3: Academic Department Records
Box 1 – Folder 48
Afro-American Studies/Jazz Studies
Box 1 – Folder 49
Brass and Percussion
Box 1 – Folder 50
Chamber Music
Box 1 – Folder 51
Box 1 – Folder 52
Box 1 – Folder 53
Liberal Arts
Box 1 – Folder 54
Music History/Musicology
Box 1 – Folder 55
Box 1 – Folder 56
Box 1 – Folder 57
Box 1 – Folder 58
Box 1 – Folder 59
Box 1 – Folder 60
Box 1 – Folder 61
Third Stream
Box 1 – Folder 62
Box 1 – Folder 63
Series 4:  Administrative Department Records

Box 1 – Folder 64
Building Operations
Box 1 – Folder 65
Community Services Dept, 1977-1978
Box 1 – Folder 66
Community Services Dept, 1979-1981
Box 1 – Folder 67
Dean’s Office
Box 1 – Folder 68
Box 1 - Folder 68b
Box 1 – Folder 69
Placement Office
Box 1 – Folder 70
Public Relations
Box 1 – Folder 71
Residence Life

Series 5: Committee Records
Box 1 – Folder 72
Board of Trustees
Box 1 – Folder 73
Composition/Theory Committee
Box 1 – Folder 74
Executive Committee
Box 1 – Folder 75
Evaluation Committee
Box 1 – Folder 76
Governing Committee
Box 1 – Folder 77
Governing Committee
Box 1 – Folder 78
Governing Committee
Box 1 – Folder 79
Long Range Planning Committee
Box 1 – Folder 80
Steering Committee
Series 6: Curriculum Records
Box 1 – Folder 81
DMA records
Box 1 – Folder 82
Kodaly Center
Box 1 – Folder 83
Kodaly Institute (Hungary)
Box 1 – Folder 84
Kodaly Musical Training Institute
Box 1 – Folder 85
Orff Institute
Box 1 – Folder 86
Tufts University
Box 1 – Folder 87
Other NEC Affiliations

Series 7: Student Organization Records
Box 1 – Folder 88
Committee of Concerned Students
Box 1 – Folder 89
Student Council
Box 1 – Folder 90
Student Council, Jazz Dept. Questionnaire
Series 8: Gifts/Fundraising records
Box 1 – Folder 91
Gifts, General
Box 1 – Folder 92
Gifts, Foundations/Trusts
Box 1 – Folder 93
Gifts, Scholarship
Box 1 – Folder 94
Fundraising, Friends Organization
Box 1 – Folder 95
Fundraising, NEH Grant
Box 1 – Folder 96
Warren Benevolent Fund
Box 1 – Folder 97
Gifts, Other

Series 9:  Special Event Records

Box 1 – Folder 98
Broadway Review
Box 1 – Folder 99
Carnegie Hall – Contemporary Ensemble
Box 1 – Folder 100
Cogan Concert
Box 1 – Folder 101
Commencement, 1978
Box 1 – Folder 102
Commencement, 1979
Box 1 – Folder 103
Commencement, 1980
Box 1 – Folder 104
Commencement, 1981
Box 1 – Folder 105
Commencement, 1982
Box 1 – Folder 106
Convocation, 1978
Box 1 – Folder 107
Inauguration, Ballinger
Box 1 – Folder 108
Medea (Ray Luke’s Opera)
Box 1 – Folder 109
New England – China Consortium Meeting
Box 1 – Folder 110
NEC Benefit Concert
Box 1 – Folder 111
World Music for Peace

Series 10:  Subject Files
Box 2 – Folder 1
Biographical Information (Ballinger)
Box 2 – Folder 2
Firestone Collection
Box 2 – Folder 3
Gunther Schuller Center for American Music
Box 2 – Folder 4
Halls at NEC
Box 2 – Folder 5
Boston Conservatory/NEC Merger
Box 2 – Folder 6
Ovation Magazine Article
Box 2 – Folder 7
Presidential Search
Box 2 – Folder 8

Series 11: External Files
Box 2 – Folder 9
Boston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
Box 2 – Folder 10
Boston Consortium for Professional Arts
Box 2 – Folder 11
Center for US-China Arts Exchange
Box 2 - Folder 11b
Eleanor Steber Music Foundation
Box 2 – Folder 12
Massachusetts Board of Education
Box 2 – Folder 13
Massachusetts College of Art – Massachusetts Design Council
Box 2 – Folder 14
Massachusetts College of Art- Paddock Island Art Park
Box 2 – Folder 15
Massachusetts College of Art – Consortium
Box 2 – Folder 16
Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities
Box 2 – Folder 17
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Box 2 – Folder 18
Neighborhood Music School
Box 2 – Folder 19
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Box 2 – Folder 20
Public Action for the Arts
Box 2 – Folder 21
Seven Springs
Box 2 - Folder 22

Series 12:  Photographs

Box 2 – Folder 23
Photograph proofs