The SSMO Foundation Speaker Series is our gift back to the community that supports our campus. These free, informative discussions complement the SSMO Bethany Center Speaker Series and provide our community with timely educational information from trusted sources.


Why Music Matters

Monday, May 6 | 6:30 p.m. | Valley Catholic Elementary School

Presenter: Alison Balbag, PhD, DMA
Assistant Professor, Univ. of Southern California, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Alumna, Valley Catholic School

Dr. Alison Balbag is a musician, health changemaker, educator, and arts advocate. Through these lenses, she will discuss music’s influence at all ages across the lifespan and the big picture impact of supporting music and the arts.

Dr. Balbag investigates music’s influence on health and development at all ages across the lifespan. With doctorates in both gerontology and harp performance, her interdisciplinary music and science backgrounds grant her a unique insight into the arts, health, and wellness connection. A harpist, she’s soloed with orchestras, won first place in several solo competitions, and performed on-screen (Modern Family, Glee, PBS Great Performances). She has played with artists including Stevie Wonder, Pink Martini, Bobby McFerrin, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, and LeVar Burton. She’s recorded for film scores and Google. A strong arts and health advocate, she serves as a City Commissioner for the Arts. Her media coverage includes National Geographic, Psychology Today, and Psychiatry Advisor. Dr. Balbag is a professor at the University of Southern California.