Meet Our Team

Here at Academy, we have over 40 years of experience in the music and arts industry.  We also have a genuine love for what we do and the kids we teach. It is our mission to create and continue those relationships as well as develop and nurture their gifts and talents. Academy thrives to instill and inspire through performing arts. Our professionals offer classes in music production, guitar, keyboard/piano, and acting. We can’t wait to work with each of you! 

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William Blount

Founder/ Executive Director

Dr. William “WORM” Blount is the founder and executive director of Academy of the Gifted. He is a Grammy and Soul Train Music Award recipient who is known for being a multi-talented director, artist, musician, and philanthropist. Dr. Blount has created and performed with some of our nation’s most acclaimed artists. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama in 2016. Within his first ten years as an artist, he worked with Tyler Perry, Raven-Symoné, Kelly Price, Maroon 5, Lenny Williams, Monica, Usher, Aaliyah, and Charlie Wilson, and the list goes on. Dr. Blount believes that every child has a gift and is committed to developing artists to their full potential.  “It is up to those who are already functioning in their gifts to reach back and give bigger, better, bolder opportunities to our youth. Academy of the Gifted is just one of the ways I give back so that the young artists have a place to discover their gifts and flourish.” 

Tami Edwards

Director/ Instructor

Tami Edwards, B.A., T.M.F.A, is the co-director of Academy of the Gifted. She is an administrator, educator, and a performing artist. She has an extensive background extending over 20 years in Performing Arts and Education. Tami graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Communications, Theater Arts and Psychology. She received her terminal masters from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Tami is committed to nurturing the imagination of every child she teaches. “I believe the Arts are a gateway to imagination and imagination is the gateway to possibility!” 

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LaFouji Alexander

Co-Director/ Instructor

Lafouji Alexander, B.S. is the co-director of Academy of the Gifted. He is an accomplished music professional with more than 20 years of experience in Education, Music Production, Audio Architecture, Engineering, and Mastering. Lafouji’s primary objective as an Educator and Instructor is to assist students gaining the confidence, experience, skills and training necessary to become successful and impactful in the endeavors that they pursue. “My personal philosophy of education consists of the concepts of Student Empowerment, Active Learning, Embracing Technology, and Innovative Teaching. It is my desire to bring a new and innovative way of teaching modern music, a dual curriculum approach of music and technology.”

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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. He appeared with his family on the popular American game show, Family Feud, on 20 May 2015.

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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 around the world. 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.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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Qymeer Blount

Music Production Instructor

The Academy of the Gifted our music Production teacher is music producer and artist Qymeer Blount, William Blount’s son. Qymeer is 23 years old and has grown up in the music industry and coached directly with us father. Qymeer has worked with the likes of Blackstreet, 1500orNothin', J Stylz and many others. Qymeer has been hands on in music production since 13 and also plays the drums. Qymeer has over 250 hours in unreleased music. Qy Blount, his stage name, is an artist and the lead vocalist of 221, an Earthworm Productions music band.

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Contact Us

Telephone: 704-691-7730

Email: academyofthegiftedvirtual@gmail.com

Hours of Operation: 

Monday - Friday

9 am - 6 pm

Address

Academy of the Gifted 

 P.O. Box 652

Gastonia, NC 28053  

© Copyright 2019 by Academy of the Gifted. Proudly Created by Aalani Renee Necole - The Creative Catalyst