Steven Ball has recently been named as Director of Sacred Music at The Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri. He comes to this position from New Jersey where he last served as Organist and Director of Outreach (now Emeritus) for the world's largest pipe organ located in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Only the 3rd Staff Organist in history ever to have been appointed to that instrument, his work there from 2013-2017 included the establishment in 2014 of the 501c3 non-profit which is continuing in its efforts to raise money to return the instrument to 100% operational, a situation not achieved since the 1944 hurricane. His time there also included positions at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, PA, the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass Community of Philadelphia as well as several years of service to the parish of St. Monica in Atlantic City.
A former Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, he is also well known for his work in the world of campanology (the study of bells), improvisation, as an organ consultant, for silent film accompaniment and as a theater organist. He has traveled and performed extensively in both the United States and abroad including concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Switzerland and Italy. He was inducted as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (a Papal Knighthood) in 2017.
Previous to his appointments in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, he was University Carillonneur at the University of Michigan as well as a member of the Faculty of the Organ Department of the University of Michigan in addition to being Director of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments. In addition, he also served as Cathedral Organist at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit and Senior Staff Organist at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.
Originally from a small farm near Wright, Michigan, Dr. Ball began playing the organ at a very young age. By the time he was 6, he was both studying piano and attempting to complete a single stop pipe organ which his father and he had begun engineering together in the basement of their family home. He began accompanying church services on a regular basis by the age of 9, and started formal organ studies not long after with Dr. John Hammersma of Calvin College while being home schooled by his parents. By the age of 16 he was accepted as an undergraduate in the studio of Dr. Marilyn Mason of the University of Michigan. His undergraduate studies in organ performance were followed by several years of study abroad which included work at l'Institute de Touraine in Tours (France), the University of Utrecht and Royal Dutch Carillon School of Amersfoort (The Netherlands) as well as the Royal Carillon School of Mechelen (Belgium). He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship by the United States Government in 2001.