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Dr. Kenton W. Bales

Music Theory / Composition
Faculty member teaching solely online, please contact by email.

The music of Kenton Bales has been commissioned and premiered by a wide variety of professional artists and ensembles. His music is influenced by themes from the Western Classical tradition and from Native American music and the music and spirit of the Great Plains and the Ozarks, where he grew up.

Bales has twice been named the Nebraska Composer of the year, and has won composition awards from the Music Teachers National Association, the Society of Composers, Incorporated, the American Composers Forum, and the Nebraska Arts Council. He is active in teaching composition, and has been named recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has served as co-chair of Region VI of the Society for Composers, Inc., Composition Chair for the Music Teachers National Association Student Composition Competition, Composition Adjudicator for the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, and President of the Nebraska Music Teachers Association. Bales is a Fellow of Music Teachers National Association, and a Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies. He is currently the Robert M. Spire Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Bales's music is diverse and his catalog encompasses works for orchestra, wind ensemble, chorus, chamber groups, and solo instruments. Many of the works were commissioned by various artists the Sotto Voce Trio, Joseph Gramley, and members of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. His music has been performed by a wide variety of soloists and groups throughout the United States and Europe, and is published by Southern Music Company, Alliance Music Publishers, Incorporated, and Amber Waves Publishing. He has several commercially-available recordings of his work.

Dr. Bales received his DMA and MM in Composition at the University of North Texas and his Bachelor of Music Education from Drury College. Currently Professor Bales teaches music undergraduate and graduate composition and theory at UNO.