Louis W. Ballard, (1931-2007) aka Honganozhe, [his Quapaw name meaning "Stands With Eagles"], was born near Quapaw, Oklahoma, in the Native American Indian community of Devil's Promenade. He is recognized as a preeminent American composer, music educator and author of Cherokee-Quapaw, French and Scottish heritage. During his early years, he was immersed in traditional music and dance cultures but also received piano lessons from his mother in the local mission church. His formal music studies at the Univ. of Oklahoma and later at the Univ. of Tulsa, with tutelage by Bela Rozsa, led him to earn B.M.E., B.F.A and M.M. degrees in music. Private mentors later were Darius Milhaud, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Carlos Surinach and Felix Labunski. Numerous awards include Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from The College of Santa Fe and William Jewell College. From 1962 to 1970 he was Director of Music and Performing Arts at the Inst. American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1970 to 1980 he was Director of Music Curriculum Programs for the U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs nation-wide school system. Later, for schools and colleges, he created and published a 110 page Guidebook with 2 CDs called Native American Indian Songs, Taught by Louis W. Ballard. The work, which includes music notations, song analyses, language translation, dance diagrams, lesson plans, color photos and extensive cultural materials is called by a prominent music critic, "An American Classic."

He has many credits in North America as a composer with major premieres at Carnegie Hall, Eastman-Rochester Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, Tyrone Guthrie Theater, JFK Performing Arts Center and Grady Gammage Auditorium with radio broadcasts over Canadian Broadcasting System, Voice of America, National Public Radio, WNYC, besides European broadcasts at Radio France and Deutsch Welle. His Grants include Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Lila Wallace Foundation, Meet the Composer, Ford Foundation, Harkness Ballet, American Composers Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Tulsa Philharmonic and the First Marion Nevins MacDowell Award for American Chamber Music. In 1997, the First Americans in the Arts awarded Louis W. Ballard a lifetime Musical Achievement Award. In 1999, by invitation from Maestro Dennis Russell Davies, Music Director & Conductor of Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, Ballard was honored as the first American composer to present a concert of his music in the new Beethoven-House Chamber Music Hall adjoining Beethoven's birthplace in Bonn, Germany. In November 2004, his induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame marks the first time for a classical composer to be so honored among a roster of popular stars. Among overseas countries to have performances of his music are: Argentina, Austria, England, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia and Spain.

As a composer, music educator and award winning music journalist, Louis W. Ballard is devoted to the values of Native American culture and music. His Ballard Credo states: "It is not enough to acknowledge that Native American Indian Music is merely different from other music. What is needed in America is an awakening and reorienting of our total spiritual and cultural perspectives to embrace, understand and learn from the Aboriginal American what motivates his musical and artistic impulses."

Among the composer's most frequently performed works are: SCENES FROM INDIAN LIFE, INCIDENT AT WOUNDED KNEE, and a series of works, FANTASY ABORIGINE NOS. 4-5-6 (all orchestral works); KATCINA DANCES, (cello and piano suite); WHY THE DUCK HAS A SHORT TAIL, (for narrator and symphony orchestra); RITMO INDIO, (for woodwind quintet); CACEGA AYUWIPI and MUSIC FOR THE EARTH AND THE SKY, (for Native American Instruments and standard percussion); choral cantatas, THE GODS WILL HEAR, and PORTRAIT OF WILL ROGERS-Tribute To A Great American, and; ballet and dance pieces, THE FOUR MOONS, and THE MAID OF THE MIST AND THE THUNDERBEINGS.