BILLY BALLENGER / FRONT MAN / LEAD VOCALS
Singer-songwriter Billy Ballenger, found his passion for music as a young boy growing up in Central Indiana. It was there he remembers playing old records while he slept in order to memorize the lyrics and learn to sing them on his own. As a troubled child, Billy was bullied and became a bully himself. As a troubled teenager he began to struggle with life, school, and family, which ultimately led to juvenile incarceration.
Billy quickly found himself as a young married father who was abusing substances and partying. A lifestyle of local burglaries and violence prompted a SWAT team to raid his home and arrest both Billy and his wife, Jodie. Their 9-month old daughter was taken from them and they were each sentenced to six years of imprisonment in the Indiana Department of Corrections. It was at his lowest point that Billy found hope and made a decision to follow Jesus Christ.
Having been exposed to the message of Jesus Christ as a child he began taking steps to turn his life around. He started to study the Bible and attend prison Bible studies. Billy's life underwent a radical change and both Billy and his wife were miraculously released from prison one year early, receiving full custody of their daughter. Returning to his childhood passion of music, he began pursuing his dreams of becoming a performer.
After years of hard work, Billy's efforts led to a professional career, highlighted by performances in China, Russia, the United States, Canada, and international television. Today Billy has a new album on the way and there are select show dates and music available on iTunes and on their site (www.billyballenger.com). Both Ballenger and Break the Grey are on the brink of expansion through new collaborations with organizations such as Sportsworld. The potential for positive impact on this generation has no limits.
With songs that touch the heart, a passion for worship, combined with his God-given ability to captivate an audience, Billy and his band, BALLENGER, have impacted thousands of lives.
BRAD GEMBERLING / GUITARS / VOCALS
Hailing from Muncie, Indiana, Brad started expressing his musical talents by learning how to play the piano when he was 5 years old. However, it wasn't long before he knew that he wanted to be a guitar player. His first guitar was a Christmas gift when he was 8 years old. Then, after learning the instrument, he began exploring his passion for electric guitar. By the time he was in high school he was playing songs at his weekly youth group meetings and writing new material with his friends who shared the same passion.
After years of developing his talents with multiple influences including Rock, Jazz and Blues, he began playing live in front of more and more audiences at youth group camps and small concert venues.In 2009 Billy met Brad and realized Brad was a perfect fit to the cast of BALLENGER. Now proficient on acoustic guitar, electric gutiar, bass, and vocals, Brad joined the band and has been a part of Ballenger and Break the Grey ever since.
As an integral part of BALLENGER, his music career has grown far beyond his wildest dreams. When asked what he likes most about Ballenger, Brad responded, "I love being on the road playing music to new fans. It's what I was meant to do."
JORDAN M. SMITH / DRUMS & PERCUSSION
BALLENGER's drummer was raised by a very loving and supportive mother who sacrificed every day for him and his siblings. Whether it was the little things like helping with homework, driving to sporting events, or finding the way to get private music lessons, she worked so hard to provide for each one of their interests. Her hard work taught him a great deal about sacrificial love and to never give up.
Jordan knew his entire life that he wanted to be a drummer. Even at a young age, he would pull pots and pans out of the cupboards as a makeshift drum set and use wooden spoons as his drum sticks. He was born to be a drummer. At the age of twelve he took his first official drum set lesson. The following week Jordan bought his first drum kit and the rest was history. "I am extremely thankfully that I had a supportive parent that put up with 'nasty noisy nonsense years.' It takes a lot of patience to get past that stage.
" Throughout high school, Jordan was in a variety of music programs: Marching band, Concert band, Jazz band, Pep Band, Pit for musicals, and Praise band. Each program taught him a different viewpoint about his love and passion, molding him musically and educating him on how to become an even better drummer. During his senior year, he had his first experience with playing live in a rock band. After playing several shows, he knew that playing live music was where he was called to be.
During his crazy years of touring, Jordan's path crossed paths with BALLENGER several times. Through the grapevine, a mutual friend told him of an opportunity opening with BALLENGER. He prayed over this opportunity for a long while, and then sent in an audition piece. As they reviewed his audition, he continued to pray "Not my will, but yours." After a little while he was brought in for a live audition. And the rest is history. "Ballenger has brought so many blessings to my life, and I have experienced some amazing things with them, and I expect many more to come!" - Jordan M. Smith Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
KRISTEN SMITH / VOCALS
Kristen decided at an early age that she wanted to become a hair stylist and she followed her dreams. However, she was always singing in the car, in the kitchen, and throughout the day. Singing was another big passion in her life. In middle school and high school, Kristen enjoyed being in choir and show choir.Kristen met BALLENGER through her husband, Jordan. He began drumming for the band and she tagged along as the supporting girlfriend and later as his wife.
Kristen got to see the heart of BALLENGER and all involved and they all became family. As time went on she became a vocalist for the band. "It's been such a blessing from God. My dreams have become reality. I'm part of a ministry I believe in, I get to do my passion as my career doing hair and nails and I get to sing and lead people to Christ."