Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Interim Associate Director of Bands

Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education


  • D.M.A., University of Michigan, Conducting
  • M.M., University of Michigan, Conducting
  • B.M.E., Missouri State University, Instrumental Music
  • B.S., Missouri State University, Electronic Arts - Audio Studies

Teaching Specialties

  • Band & Wind Ensembles
  • Conducting
  • Secondary Instrumental Methods

Research Interests

  • Atmospheric Studies
  • Classroom Relationships
  • Vincent Persichetti


  • College Band Directors National Association
  • Kappa Kappa Psi
  • National Association for Music Education
  • Pi Kappa Lambda


Dr. Nicholas Balla is the interim Associate Director of Bands and Coordinator of Music Education at Arkansas State University. He conducts the A-State Wind Ensemble and Orchestra as well as teaches instrumental conducting and music education courses.

Dr. Balla recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Band & Wind Ensemble Conducting at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance where he taught as a Graduate Student Instructor for the Michigan Marching Band, Campus Bands, Campus Chamber Ensembles, University Concert Band, and undergraduate conducting courses. Prior to U-M, Dr. Balla taught for five years in Missouri for the Lebanon School District as an Assistant Director of Bands and low brass specialist. He helped establish Lebanon’s permanent extracurricular chamber ensembles program, held a private low brass studio across Southwest Missouri, and served as an adjudicator throughout the state.

His research interests include the music of Vincent Persichetti and the application of atmospheric studies to the instrumental music classroom. He has presented on these topics at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference, Michigan Music Conference, and Symposium for Music Teacher Education. Dr. Balla conducted the 2023 world premiere of Into the Labyrinth: A History of Physics from Galileo to Dark Matter by Alberto Rojo, a 35-minute concerto for narrator, guitarist, tenor, and jazz drummer. Dr. Balla received a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Art–Audio Studies and a Bachelor of Music Education from Missouri State University.