Arts Initiative is determined to inspire, by bringing performing arts programs to schools in the South Bay Area. All programs are custom tailored to fit the needs of each community and enrich the lives, not only of those participating, but of those in the student body as well.
Our passionate and enthusiastic staff make each day a fun and exciting experience that inspires students to excel.
Chris Reed,(CEO), has been passionately starting sustainable band, theatre and performing arts programs from scratch since 2006. In that time, he has taught more then 25,000 students across California how to proudly nurture their artistic talents. His unwavering dedication to his students awarded him an "Emerging Artist of Silicon Valley" Grant in 2013. "Mr. Chris" (as his students like to refer to him) is always looking for new and fun ways to help his students grow and is constantly writing new plays, musicals and compositions for them to be a part of (as seen here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJxnnirIkVM Chris has written more then 350+ songs and received recognition world wide from radio stations and networks like MTV. He has toured South America and Europe as a singer-songwriter. And has done 8 west coast tours writing, directing and staring in original musicals at K-8 Schools and churches. In the past 7 years, Chris has recorded and released 8 professional albums and releases new singles every R year.
Harry, has been involved on a professional level in music, choral, drama and dance for over 40 years. He has been a professional musician, theatre producer and director. Harry has lead 32 tours of the western United States and written numerous songs and plays. As owner of a homeMusic Studio for the last 22 years, he has taught over 1,000 students, organized programs and recitals and been a positive influence for the growth of his students. He has a lifetime teaching Credential in the State of California and has worked at numerous schools in the San Jose Unified, Santa Clara, Union and Luther Burbank School Districts. While having had the pleasure of working with more then 28,000+ students in his career, Reed has received numerous grants to help fund his programs throughout the years. Harry's favorite part of A.I. is that it represents the opportunity to bring the performing arts to an even broader range of students.
Cortney graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in child psychology. She has a great enthusiasm for teaching and working with children and helping them to discover their full potential. Cortney began playing alto saxophone fifteen years ago and has been involved in jazz band, marching band, and pep band. At the peak of her musical involvement at the University of Minnesota, Cortney realized her highest passion lied in marching band; marching for both the alto saxophone and trombone line. Involvement in the leadership team of the band built her understanding for teaching and directing students in a variety of settings. Predominantly working with elementary school students, Cortney also works at Murdock-Portal Elementary School. In addition to directing and classroom teaching, Cortney has recently began private tutoring for students on their respective band instrument.
Niko started playing the trumpet in 3rd grade, and has followed his passion for music and specifically throughout his school and proffessional career. Niko knew from a young age that the trumpet was going to be his main instrument when he was welcomed into the prestigious Jazz band at Abraham Lincoln High School his freshman year. From there, he played in the wind ensemble, marching band and mariachi. Over the years, Niko has played a wide array of styles from Big Band to Jazz, Mariachi and Classical. He has been a featured musician at many Arts Initiative concerts since 2011 and has even performed at venues like the Tech Museum, SAP Center, San Jose Convention Center and even San Jose Civic. Niko recorded his debut blues album in 2017 and is set to head back in to the studio soon!
Anthony is an experienced San Jose musician with a well rounded background in all the band instruments. He spent multiple years learning and leading sections on Flute, different types of battery, many brass instruments like the Tuba, Bass trombone and even the French Horn. Aside from being the section leader in a handful of bands, Anthony has even lead multiple tours working with a wide range students from Elementary School to College. Most recently, he toured as the head Drum major for Vanguard Cadets leading more then a 100 person section.
Bay Are native, Raymond, joined the Arts Initiative team back in 2016. Having started on Clarinet as a child, he passionately taught himself to play Flute, Saxophone, Trumpet, Percussion and his personal favorite Ukulele. Excited by all the gifts music has to offer the world, Raymond enthusiastically brings his 15 years with children and his artistic passion to every band session he leads.
Manuel Mendoza is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in music education. He served as the principal tuba with the SJSU Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and the Spartan Marching Band. Mr. Mendoza has played with the San Jose Wind Symphony, The Villages Band of San Jose, and the El Camino Youth Symphony Wind Orchestra. He has instructed brass for Fremont High School, Overfelt High School, The Kings Academy, Columbia Middle School, Prospect High School, Saint Francis High School, and Del Mar High School. He is a charter member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Brass Quintet and Santa Clara Vanguard Youth Brass Ensemble, and is a current member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps.
We are always looking for enthusiastic musicians at many different levels to join our team as a band instructor, choir director, classroom music teacher or even get involved in theatre. Typical band instruction time is in one hour blocks from the hours of 7:00am-8:00am, 8am-9am and 3pm-4pm. If you are interested in becoming a band instructor, you must be able to read basic notation, work with large groups and be passionate about music. Choir Directors and Classroom music instructors are highly encouraged to play an accompaniment instrument such as (but not limited to) guitar or piano.
*All programs have a strict policy of no refunds or exchanges after the first week of class has concluded.