Ian Ball: Prodigious musician extraordinaire to hotshot acting whiz


Teddy Skyler

Ian Ball shown practicing music after school. Such dedication and discipline.

It used to be that if you were involved at all in Wilsonville’s musical programs, you had at least heard of Ian Ball.

Things are different now.

As it stands, Ball is an omnipresent force in extracurricular arts. It’s not just that you have heard of him, it’s that you have heard him.

Ball’s role as musician extends beyond a traditional band/orchestra participant at Wilsonville High School. He volunteered as a Euphonium player in pit orchestra– the orchestra that performs alongside the theatrics live, courtesy of Mr. Davies. 

Working together closely with other musicians is incredibly important for the functioning of any given musical performance, let alone one where you are trying to sync up your performance with an entirely separate one onstage. Aaron Boone is another pit orchestra musician, leading the brass section with his affinity for the trumpet. Boone played right alongside Ball during Little Women. He attested to Ball’s musical excellence: “Ian has made colossal improvements since when I first began playing with him. I think Ian is a very dedicated musician and always has been, and I think he has a lot of respect for music as a form of art. He is one of the best musicians at the school and I can tell that he genuinely enjoys playing.”

In a WBN exclusive interview, Ball was asked about his mindset during pit orchestra. “Well when you’re in a performance or a rehearsal, you sorta have to think about what you’re doing case-by-case, because if you think about everything you have to play and the music you have to perform there is so much and it’s really difficult to have the endurance for all of it and you get overwhelmed. So I just take it piece by piece, chunk by chunk,” he provided.

Not yet two weeks after the Little Women performances, Ball auditioned for the next play: Puffs.

“Honestly, it wasn’t a super big decision for me. I just saw the auditions posted, wanted to try acting, and showed up. I got called back for the second audition, and here we are.” Post-casting, Ball recalled how it felt. “I had the biggest ego for like, 5 minutes.”

But now a month and a half has gone by– how does Ball feel?

“It is pretty similar to how I feel in pit,” he remarked. “I’m not used to these really long rehearsals, so I noticed that if I start thinking about the week ahead and how much time I’m going to spend at rehearsal, I get really overwhelmed. So I try to take it day by day and chunk it up.”

In that singular aspect, the arts are interchangeable. Whether you’re in jazz band, dance or theatre, looking at the work ahead can be daunting. Taking it day by day is almost a necessity. 

Ian is a very dedicated musician and always has been, and I think he has a lot of respect for music as a form of art.”

— Aaron Boone

But it’s not all similarities between arts.

“One different perspective that theatre has offered is that it’s a lot more artistically independent than really music in general. In music you’re always following a conductor right? There is a director in acting, but there’s a lot of leeway you have in your portrayal of your character. And so that’s new and exciting and fun and… I like it.”

Ball has made big waves in the drama department. He’s well liked by his co-stars, stagehands and director alike. Perhaps well liked is underselling it, though. Some would say he’s made a meaningful impact on the culture of Puffs.

Bright freshman backstage tech Sydney Cederberg said Ball is “really funny, he has a lot of energy everyday when he comes to rehearsals.” Senior actor and alleged part-time model Will Baarsch characterized him as being “wild and rambunctious. He is a high energy person.” “I discern the idea that this is something he is naturally obtained to,” said sophomore actor and film fanatic Skyler Hopper.

It’s a rarity when someone is both a natural talent and a dedicated worker. It’s even rarer when that person is almost universally loved by the people they work with.

That someone is Ian Ball.