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School Of Music Professor Mark Ballora Passes Away

Professor Mark Ballora passed away unexpectedly on July 18 at 57 years old, according to a release from Penn State.

Ballora was a professor of music technology in the School of Music and also the newly-appointed director of the Arts & Design Research Incubator. His work was focused on the field of sonification and was featured in publications like The Huffington Post, The Conversation, and Electronic Musician.

During his time at Penn State, he and School of Theatre professor Curtis Craig created a minor in music composition and technology, which then became a major for students wanting to study music and theatre.

Ballora earned a theatre arts degree at UCLA and music technology and composition degrees from NYU’s Department of Music. After he earned his doctorate in music technology at McGill University in Montreal, he came to Penn State in 2000.

“Professor Ballora led the way for collaborations that exploded the boundaries between art and science,” College of Arts and Architecture Dean Barbara Korner said in a release. “He helped many understand that artists bring unique perspectives to research questions. His kind and fun spirit enhanced his intellectual curiosity; his passing leaves a hole in many of our hearts.”

Ballora is survived by his wife Agatha Wang, son Ian, brother Greg, and their parents. Arrangements are still pending. Information will be posted on the School of Music’s website when it becomes available.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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