Dr. Ball holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition and theory from Temple University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She received the Nancy Campbell Award for top honors in music theory. She also received a Master of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Northern Illinois University under the tutelage of William Goldenberg, and a Doctor of Music Arts degree in piano performance and repertoire from the University of Illinois under the tutelage of Kenneth Drake.
As composer-arranger and recitalist, she frequently performs on the concert stage and in churches across the country as soloist and collaborative pianist. Her music took her to Africa in 1991, where she performed in concert in Swaziland and South Africa and recorded original piano music for Trans World Radio broadcasts aired throughout the continent.
Her most recent CD and book of piano arrangements, "Fount of Every Blessing," are published by Lillenas Publishing. Her music is also available on her website at karenballmusic.com.
Dr. Ball was the 2009 winner of the American Choral Directors Association Composition Contest with her choral work "A light exists in spring."
She has enjoyed an extensive teaching career specializing in the areas of piano performance, piano repertoire, piano pedagogy, improvisation and composition. She proposed and formulated the curriculum for Olivet's Bachelor of Music degree in Composition, which was implemented in 2004.
She is a member of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, the American College of Musicians and the Society of Composers, Inc. She has served as adjudicator and clinician for various music institutions and organizations, such as the Mendelssohn Club, the National Piano Guild and the Illinois State Music Teachers Association.
Dr. Ball and her husband, Stephen, are the parents of three children and grandparents of six grandchildren.