Dr. Allan Ballinger, cello
Dr. Allan Ballinger has pursued dual paths in the fields of music and history over the course of his life, which is particularly interesting because his father was a high school history teacher and mother a church organist and choir director. Allan is not only active as a performer with Cuatro Puntos, but also teaches history and political science in the Social Sciences department at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT, reflecting his lifelong commitment to empowering the disenfranchised and underserved in our society.
Dr. Ballinger has masters’ degrees in both modern European history and music education from Central Connecticut State University. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Connecticut (2013) in cello performance, with a minor in music history. His doctoral dissertation, In Quest of the Sacred: Arvo Pärt and Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen, combines an analysis of that composer’s music with an exploration of his spirituality, and the historical context in which his unique style of composition evolved. Allan’s fascination with the Estonian composer reflects his own interest in spirituality and the practice of kriya yoga, and his masters’ thesis studying religious dissidents of the Soviet Union. His analysis of Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten was recently published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science and was presented at the annual conference of the Community College Humanities Association in November 2017.