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© Copyright 2019 by Academy of the Gifted

Academy of the Gifted 

319 S. Columbia Street

Gastonia, NC 28054

Tel:  (704) 691-7730


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William "Big Worm" Blount


William "Big Worm" Blount is R&B music and Broadway plays most influential Music Director working with the likes of Tyler Perry, Monica, Outkast, Goodie Mob, R Kelly and many others which have afforded him a Grammy and Soul Train Award. William Blount also founded and is behind some of your favorite bands like Blackstreet and Riff. 

 William Blount was born and raised in Patterson New Jersey and was introduced to music by his brother, Dick. A young William struggled between a life of crime or miracles as well as the time not filling his desires and passions for music.

William would practice playing bass, drums and other instruments with his brother, who battled other family member about the "hobby"; claiming that he would not be able to create a livable wage playing music. Thankfully, Big Worm didn't listen!

John Fitzgerald McGill

Vice President

Guitarist Songwriter Composer Producer.


Palmer WIlliams

Board Member

 American stage and television actor. He is best known for his role as Floyd Jackson on both Tyler Perry's House of Payne and the sitcom Love Thy Neighbor.[1] He appeared with his family on the popular American game show, Family Feud, on 20 May 2015.


Chauncey Hannibal

Board Member

Chauncey Black (also known as Chauncey Hannibal) is a singer & co-founder of Blackstreet. Born November 24, 1968 he co-founded Blackstreet with New Jack Swing pioneer & former Guy member Teddy Riley. Guy is a group in which Hannibal was a background vocalist for. After Guy disbanded Teddy came to Chauncey with the idea of forming a new R&B group with him as one of the lead singers. He has appeared on Busta Rhymes' album "The Big Bang" on the song "You Can't Hold the Torch" alongside Q-Tip and KleeNecks. In 2008, he appeared on a song by French rapper Kery James, "Encore", from his album A l'Ombre du Show Business.

He was also mentioned by Kanye West in his song "Everything I Am" on the "Graduation" album

Garfield Bright

Board Member

Garfield Bright is an original member of the multi platinum selling, rhythm and blues quartet known as Shai. In this capacity, since 1992, Garfield continues to perform and entertain audiences the world over.  Garfield is also an educator.  In 2007, while earning his BA in Political Science, he served as co-teacher of The Politics Of Hip Hop course at California State University at Northridge after which he spent the following two years (2008-2010) as a high school Geography/History teacher in Lawndale, California.  in 2011. While pursuing his MA in African American Studies at Georgia State University (GSU), he served as a high school sociology teacher for two years at Black Star Educational Institute, an independent Black school in Atlanta, Georgia. Garfield earned his MA in African American Studies at GSU in 2012, where his research focused on Independent African Centered Learning environments. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Georgia State University majoring in Social Foundations of Educational Policy Studies.  Garfield’s research explores how Black males navigate inequitable power structures, particularly urban school systems and the entertainment industry.

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