Balina, was inspired to play the piano when she was just 3 years old with her parents who were both accomplished musicians; mother an opera singer, and her father a composer, french horn player and conductor.
She was accepted by audition at the age of 6 at the "Jakov Xoxa" music school in Fier, where she studied with the well respected hungarian piano teacher Maria Rafail and graduated after the 12th grade with a major in piano performance.
Balina continued her studies for piano and composition and graduated from Tirana's Music Conservatory in 1988. She was the recipient of two national awards in Piano Concerto in C major, and the Poem Symphony "Konstandini and Doruntina", both original compositions.
She continued her studies in piano and composition in Vienna, Austria at the Universitat fur Musik and darshtellende Kunst, where she also gave private piano lessons and played for a local Catholic Church.
After moving to US, she was appointed as a piano teacher at the Wehner's School of the Arts in Orange Park, Florida.
In 1994, she directed and performed at the "Music Through The Ages" concert presented at the Riverside Theatre, a combination of instrumental, ballet and original composition show.
From 1998- 2008 Balina was the Artist in Residence at Jacksonville University were she taught piano with the Continuing Education department and accompanied their collegiate classical and modern ballet. During that time she also performed at several Faculty concerts including her own piano compositions.
Currently, Balina teaches piano at her private studio in Orlando, Florida and is the Music Director at the St Teresa Catholic Church. In addition to her professional responsibilities she continues to compose music for piano, vocal, instruments, and orchestra. In 2004, she was commissioned by the president of the Harmony Club to compose sight reading piano music for all elementary to the very advanced levels which has been used for many years at the district piano competition as part of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs Competition sight reading category.
Throughout the years of teaching, her piano students have won several State Competition awards and have been praised by many acclaimed judges for their remarkable musicianship and technique. Sara Langmack, one of her students won the “Concert on the Green” competition and performed with the Jacksonville Symphony orchestra in front of three thousand people. Joseph Cataulin, another one of Balina’s early students, was awarded a music scholarship at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
Though she has many passions and talents, she truly loves teaching piano and seeing her students grow into wonderful pianists. Especially knowing that no matter what direction they take in their life, music will have a great impact in their overall upbringing and developing a balanced character and well rounded personality.
Winner of Concert on the Green 1998
Sara Langmack with Tawnie Thiessen before the concert.
NFMC State Winners
1st place winners in the Florida Junior Convention 2007
NMFC State Winner
1st place winner in the Florida Junior Convention 2012
We offer excellent piano and music theory lessons for students in Orlando and surrounding areas.