Juilliard-trained organist David La’O Ball serves as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at Christ Cathedral in the Diocese of Orange, California (formerly Crystal Cathedral). David is a recognized and well-lauded young performer—The New York Times declared his appearance in Juilliard’s FOCUS! Festival “a rousing performance”; his performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in a minor in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall was broadcast on American Public Media’s nationally-syndicated radio program Pipedreams; and his segment of the 2014 WQXR Bach Marathon was streamed on WQXR-FM, New York City’s classical radio station. In addition, David has performed solo and collaborative recitals across the country, including duet recitals with Dr. John A. Romeri on the largest musical instrument ever built: the Boardwalk Hall Organ in Atlantic City. In recognition of his accomplishments, David was named one of The Diapason’s 2017 Class of 20 under 30, a peer-selected group of young people at the forefront of the organ field.
David completed both the Bachelor and Master of Music at The Juilliard School in New York City, studying under Mr. Paul Jacobs. As part of a wide-ranging musical vision for 21st-century collaboration—a vision cultivated during his time at Juilliard—David is committed to making the “King of Instruments” play well with others. He has spearheaded a number of “David and Friends” chamber recitals, commissioned many new works, and co-founded the ensemble duo corgano, a horn and organ duet featuring fellow Juilliard alumnus Trevor Nuckols. Additionally, as an orchestral musician, David has played organ with the Juilliard Orchestra in Ives’ Three Places in New England under the baton of Jeffrey Milarsky, and Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin under Robert Spano. In 2015, he played harmonium for the Juilliard Vocal Arts production of Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson.
David is an active member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). As a winner of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists, David performed as a Rising Star at the 2016 National AGO Convention in Houston where he "used the organ evocatively... displayed a wide palette of colors in his artistic registration and... brought Mozart's K. 608 to a thrilling close, earning an enthusiastic response from the audience." (The American Organist) David has additionally won AGO Competitions in Wichita, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis, and was the recipient of the rarely-conferred Outstanding Student Award from the St. Louis Chapter of the AGO.
The only thing that matches David’s passion for solo and ensemble performance is his commitment to creating liturgical music of the highest caliber. From his earliest days as the organ scholar at the landmark St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, David played and accompanied the Cathedral Basilica’s choirs in performances across the country and in Rome, Italy. During his studies at Juilliard, he worked as the Assistant Director and Interim Director of Music at St. Malachy’s – The Actors’ Chapel in Times Square. As Christ Cathedral Organist, David’s musical contributions underpin the Cathedral's vast array of weekly services and events, accompanying the Diocesan, Cathedral, and Children's Choirs and supporting the parish's diverse congregation.