Although being raised in the Church of God in Christ, it was Gertrude and Clara Ward who educated and molded me to be the professional keyboard player, and singer that I am. I was taught that gospel singing and playing was an art that should be recognized along with the other major genres of music. Lesson number one is: just because we sing and play for the Lord, appearing unprofessionally in any way whatsoever is never acceptable. Therefore, all members of the Ward Troop were inducted into the Ward School of Gospel Music. Gertrude Ward, Clara’s mother and manager, was the principal, teacher, beautician, seamstress, and everything that revolved around the profession.
There was never any doubt whatsoever that she was the boss of her “Ward’s School of Gospel Music” I thank her for what I learned. It was boot camp then but an education that is still a lifelong, rewarding, and an ongoing experience that I will always cherish and use continuously.