Mr. Ballinger started playing the viola when he was 12 years old and attended Florida Southern College where he graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree. He is now the Orchestra Director of Oslo and Storm Grove Middle Schools where he teachers more than 240 string students. Richard moved to Vero Beach in 2004 after teaching privately and directing youth orchestras in Stuart, Florida. He has performed in and as a soloist with several orchestras throughout the state of Florida and often employed as an adjudicator for Concert MPA and Solo & Ensemble MPA events. He is co-founder of the ensembles the Ocean String Quartet and Ocean Strings with his wife Nicole, and he performs as a solo artist with many different events. When he’s not busy teaching or performing he’s playing with his son, surfing, boating, swimming or volunteering in the community.
The Oslo Orchestra began in 1999 when local string teachers arranged for government grants and community donations to form the first public school string program in Indian River County.