Most people know Mr. Kent Ballard as the high school science teacher at Guthrie CSD. However, many people may not know that Ballard has a very interesting background...in music. Mr. Ballard has been in the Guthrie family for 12 years, and has since then brought a new passion for music to the school. Mr. Ballard’s passion for music began with his family. The youngest of a family filled with musical talent, Ballard’s older siblings were all gifted band members as well as good singers. With instruments ranging from trombone, baritone, tuba, piano, clarinet, and guitar, Mr. Ballard was exposed to several types of music.
His family members enjoyed Rock and Pop so early on in his childhood, he enjoyed Elton John, Billy Joel, John Cougar Mellencamp, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Eagles, and The Steve Miller Band. Mr. Ballard included those artist and Rich Mullins, James Taylor, Amy Grant, The Newsboys, Garth Brooks, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne and Joe Walsh as his overall favorite musicians. Mr. Ballard is often praised for his diverse musical taste, from Nirvana to George Strait, Neil Diamond to AC/DC, and Taylor Swift to Metallica, Mr. Ballard always has a song for any event and any person’s taste.
With all this musical influences, Mr. Ballard has spawned his own musical history. He was a trombone player all through junior high and high school He claims his experience with the trombone was one of his more enjoyable high school experiences. He’s even had multiple experiences in the musical work force, being a stereo salesman as well as being a DJ at KBST out of Big Spring, Texas.
Mr. Ballard shared some details about his DJ experience, and told us that this was the most “formatted” job he had. “They were very picky about what songs you played, the order you played them in, when you took commercial breaks, did weather updates, etc. We had program charts for every hour of the day and every day of the week. The station's music director put all the songs into categories. Then he put little colored dots on the label of each record. The program charts had the same type of dots, so you knew what type of song you were supposed to play next. One day I came in and the secretary had written the word "red" on every red dot, the word "blue" on every blue dot, etc. The bins where we kept the records were also labeled with the words for each color. When I asked the program director about it, he said, ‘You know that part timer, Mark, we just hired - he's color blind!’”
Nowadays, Mr. Ballard is the disk jockey for Guthrie CSD. He often announces at the football games and peprallies, and made the playlist for the football and basketball games with a rockin’ sound. He’s helped build multiple students playlist, and often promotes the musicians who came from Guthrie themselves. Several students have talked about how he’s helped them with any music challenge, whether it be finding some new tunes or getting the perfect song for an event. Guthrie has become one of the most musically diverse schools in the region, and we have Mr. Ballard to thank for it.