About Keith Ballentine
Keith started his journey in life with music at the age of 5 learning to play the violin. At 12, he learned to play the clarinet because his brother David played the clarinet and he wanted to join the band when he went to Southwest High School in St. Louis, Mo.
By his junior year there, he made first chair violinist in the symphony orchestra, and first chair clarinetist in the concert band. This earned him a music scholarship to Southeast Missouri State College in 1968. Keith was a member of the Screaming Golden Eagles Marching Band playing the clarinet and later, the baritone horn (not at the same time, he adds).
Having teachers like Jervis Underwood, David Green, Leroy Mason and many others, his love for music grew sparking an interest in composition. Keith won a songwriting contest in 1970 with a song called, People Wonder arranged by Keith Andrews. Since then, he has written hundreds of songs mostly done in the Catholic Church. And there in lies his passion for music today.
He has written a Mass called, “Mass of Faith – Savior of the World”. He has written hundreds of Psalms which are being used every Sunday plus dozens of praise and worship songs.
Keith is currently Minister of Music at St. Roch Church in St. Louis, Mo. with Monsignor Salvatore Polizzi as Pastor; part time Minister of Music at St, Ambrose Church (Msgr. Vincent Bommarito – Pastor) and Mary Magdalene (Msgr. John Borcic – Pastor).
In his words.
Everything I am today I owe to my Mother Nina. She always made sure I practiced. She made music fun and made sure I went to church for solace anytime I had problems. She was a double breast cancer survivor of 28 years. Mom was always interested in what I have written and couldn’t wait to hear it. She was my biggest fan and critic and I still remember the day when I was ten and she told me I could join the church choir at Epiphany Church where I grew up. That was the beginning of my love for religious music and has been the cornerstone to my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
My Mom passed away February 10th, 2013 in to the arms of Our Heavenly Father. Months before she died, she co-wrote the song, Father, You Have Called Me. I feel so blessed to be doing what I am doing now and also be able to share this music.