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About The Comprehensive Arts Institute

The Comprehensive Arts Institute (CAI) is about Music Education for all. Founders James and Angela Ward, have a passion for educating in the area of music for the intention of changing lives. Their work as composers, performers, and educators has spanned more than three decades. They have facilitated Music Education workshops at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, The Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, Satchel Paige Elementary School, and are currently partnering with Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council as Artists in Residency.  By invitation of Ivory Global Entertainment, the Wards designed and conducted an innovative Summer Music Camp for two consecutive years in Nassau, Bahamas.  The CAI has yielded many professional musicians including Ernest Melton, Jaylen Ward, Daniel Ross, James Ward, Jr., and Madison Porter.  

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James Ward, a native of Kansas City, graduated with honors in 1992 from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee with a bachelor of arts degree in K-12 music education. Since, James has taught instrumental music, done motivational speaking based in music and performance theory, and served as instructor and director for many educational facilities, including: King Middle School and Westport Edison (Academy) High School Bands in the Kansas City, Missouri School District, and Orchestra, Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Instrumental Music at Arrowhead Middle School in the Kansas City, KS School District. James served four years as conductor and clinician for the All City Gold Stars Jazz Band where he improved the technical skill and performance of the band while raising the maturity level of the students. James serves as Director of Bands at Grandview Christian School, where he led the Clarinet Quartet to earn the highest score at the Fine Arts and Academic Festival 2019.

James teaches brass, woodwind, string instrument, and percussion in the Ivanhoe Summer Camp and After School Program where he serves as a Teaching Artist. 

Angela Ward, Co-Founder, is known in the Kansas City Community as a music educator, classical, gospel, jazz pianist, and composer.  At an early age, Angela began studying music.  She studied classical music for eight years and was introduced to jazz while attending Florida A&M University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems.  The combination of Angela's passion for Music and Information Technology opened the door for many opportunities in the Arts.  Angela won the Outstanding Community Service Award for Leon County,  various Awards in Classical Piano Performance in District and State competitions. Angela served as Jazz Instructor and curriculum coordinator for the 2011/2012 Bahamas Music Camp, with special concentration in the Rhythm Section.  Angela served as Artist in Residency at Paseo Academy funded by the National Endowment of the Arts through the Monk Institute and she teaches virtual and in-person piano lessons.  She currently teaches K-8 Music and Computer Information Technology at Grandview Christian School, where she has directed the Music and IT Departments for ten years.  While teaching Angela was inspired to reach young aspiring musicians and bring them together for an annual Music Education Workshop entitled Show and Shed.  This event has become an annual fellowship of aspiring and professional musicians of all ages.  

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