The music of Kenton Bales has received awards from the American Composers Foundation, the Society of Composers, Incorporated, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Burlington Northern Foundation, and the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. In 1988, he won Honorable Mention in the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Competition for his Plain Variations. Bales has been named Nebraska Composer of the Year in two separate years for his music that specializes in themes from the West and the Great Plains. Compositions such as The Rocks, for tuba and orchestra, have been premiered by the Omaha Symphony and subsequently performed by the United States Army Orchestra in Washington, DC. His Micro Zodiac was commissioned by Decadanse of Lunel, France in celebration of the millenium, and Black Jack was commissioned by a member of the percussion group Ethos in New York, NY. The Continental Fanfare, the first of two works commissioned by the Continental Trombone Quartet, has been performed widely in the United States and in eight countries outside the United States. Bales has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Composers, Incorporated and as National Coordinator for the Music Teachers National Association Student Composers Competition. He is currently a Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His music is published by Studio 4 Music, Southern Music Company, Inc., Alliance Music Publishers, and Amber Waves Publishing.