Dr. Steven Thomas

Music Director

2004 – 2020

Dr. Steven Thomas

The 2019-2020 season would have been Dr. Steven Thomas’ 16th as Music Director of the Arcadia Chorale. At the end of Arcadia's 2018-2019 concert season, Dr. Thomas was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer. He received the finest of care from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he prepared for and underwent a stem cell transplant for acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). Unfortunately, after several months of treatment, Steven passed away peacefully on July 12, 2020 following complications from the transplant. Our hearts are broken.

Dr. Thomas was Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities for over 20 years at Wilkes University, and served as chair of the Division of Performing Arts. In addition to teaching various classes within the music curriculum, he directed the University Chorus and the Chamber Singers. Dr. Thomas frequently sought opportunities for Wilkes students to collaborate with members of other performing ensembles, and those collaborations with the Arcadia Chorale were especially meaningful for him.

Under his leadership, Arcadia Chorale continued its traditions of hosting the NEPA Bach Festival and presenting its annual Messiah Sing-Along. In addition, Dr. Thomas secured an invitation for the Chorale to perform at the American Choral Directors Association convention in Philadelphia, and he directed the Chorale in the production of several recordings. Steven also sang tenor in the Lyric Consort, an eight-member professional a cappella ensemble.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, he received his undergraduate degree in music from Harvard University before earning his master's and doctoral degrees from Yale University. Dr. Thomas had prepared choruses for performances with a wide variety of ensembles and artists, including the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Hartford Symphony, the Boston Camerata, and Dave Brubeck. Steven spent five summers teaching at the Governor’s School of North Carolina, and guest conducted the choirs at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Dr. Thomas has also served as College and University Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Larry Vojtko from WVIA-FM has created a lovely tribute to Dr. Steven Thomas Music Director, performer, composer and friend.