- Doctoral of Musical Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2014
- Diplommusik, Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, 1994
- Master of Music, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1990
- Bachelor of Music with Honor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 1987
Bethel Balge moved to New Ulm in 1995 after almost six years in Mainz, Germany. While living in Mainz, she studied piano performance with Professor Herbert Seidel at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst, part of the University of Frankfurt. In 1994 the Hochschule granted her a Diplom and by invitation of the Hochschule faculty board of examiners, Balge continued her studies at the Konzertexam level, the terminal program of the German university system. Her performance in Germany of Ravel’s difficult Gaspard de la Nuit attracted the notice of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which wrote of her “highly concentrated, technically secure and captivating interpretation”.
From 1983-1987 Balge studied with Ralph Votapek at Michigan State University where she received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance. The College of Arts and Letters recognized her with the Louis B. Sudler Award, given to the senior “who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the creative or performing arts while at Michigan State University.” In addition to the Hochschule Diplom, she also holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin after study with Howard Karp. She was a teacher’s assistant for two years at UW, teaching piano class and private piano lessons.She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota in 2014.
Balge teaches piano, piano pedagogy, and piano literature courses at Bethany Lutheran College and piano at Martin Luther College. She performs regularly in BLC’s Chamber Music Series and tours with the Bekesh Piano Trio. Her past times include reading, running and cooking. She and her husband Dan have five children.
Member, Minnesota Music Teachers Association (1998-present) and the Music Teachers National Association.