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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore School for the Arts has appointed a longtime music instructor as its new director.

School officials on Tuesday unanimously named Chris Ford, the current head of the music department, to succeed Leslie Shepard who is stepping down after more than a decade in the position.

Ford began working at the school in 1981 as a saxophone instructor and became head of the music department in 1990. He also works with an after-school and weekend program that provides free arts classes to Baltimore students.

Ford was chosen from a field of 185 applicants.

The renowned public arts high school prepares students for careers in the visual and performing arts. The school has graduated notable Baltimoreans such as actress Jada Pinkett Smith.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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