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Hilary Dow Ward

About this Artist

Originally from Eureka, Kansas, her education began at a small, neighborhood elementary school just blocks from her home, and matriculated to a large, high school community with a notorious fine arts program located 65 miles one way from home. Hilary has traveled long and far to be part of schools that offer high quality learning experiences and an environment enhanced by culture and diversity in all its many forms. 

Following graduation from Emporia High School, Hilary entered The University of Kansas (KU) School of Music, Lawrence, KS, where she studied Voice and Piano Performance. While at KU, Hilary was a choral scholar at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka, KS, and later at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri. While in Lawrence, Hilary also experienced her first teaching job at Raintree Montessori School where she taught classroom/general music to boys and girls grades 1-6. 

In the summer of 2006 Hilary moved to Memphis, TN where she had the opportunity to teach Orff Music at Hickory Ridge Elementary School (former Memphis City Schools), and also to serve as the Youth Minister and School Chaplain at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School and Church. In the spring of 2011, Hilary graduated from Memphis Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Religion with a focus in ethics and outreach. Following her studies at MTS, Hilary graduated from Union University in the spring of 2013 with a Masters degree in Education. Hilary’s graduate studies continue at The University of Memphis as a doctoral candidate studying education administration, leadership and policy (Ed.D.). In December 2013, she was awarded The University of Memphis, Dr. R. Eugene Smith Doctoral Fellowship/Scholarship Graduate Assistantship for Higher and Adult Education. Also, while in Memphis, Hilary taught elementary and early childhood music at St. Mary’s Episcopal School for girls and maintained a private studio of over 50 voice and piano students. In addition to her time teaching and studying in the classroom, Hilary experienced her largest “classroom” yet as an on air classical music host for NPR, WKNO/WKNP. 

In 2015, Hilary worked and taught for Uncommon Charter Schools in New York City, a leading Charter Network in the United States that pioneered the “Teach Like a Champion” methodology. While with Uncommon, Hilary taught middle school special education, reading, and math. Her time with Uncommon gave her a breadth of organizational and systems knowledge in addition to having the tremendous opportunity for mentorship and personal growth. Also, while in New York City, Hilary completed over 200 contact hours of Teaching Artist Training through Lincoln Center Education at The Juilliard School. 

Prior to joining the Project 440 team, Hilary served as a visiting assistant professor of music and theology at Sewanee: The University of the South (TN) where she also worked as the musical arts coordinator within the department of music while leading the University’s Performing Arts Series. Hilary continues to serve as the Managing Director of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the University’s largest summer and non-degree program, who in 2020, will celebrate its 64 th season. 

Regardless of where life takes her, Hilary’s greatest achievement and love is her position as a mother, daughter, and wife.