Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund

Continuing the artistic and educational legacy of our beloved Music Director, mentor and friend.

Mission

The Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund exists to continue the artistic and educational legacy of Dr. Steven Thomas, Arcadia Chorale's Music Director from 2004-2020.

The primary purpose of the Memorial Fund is to award a biannual scholarship to a deserving student who sings with the Chorale, with preference given to undergraduate students.

At the discretion of the Memorial Fund Committee and with the approval of Arcadia Chorale's Board of Directors, the Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund may also contribute to the Chorale's special projects, including, but not limited to: commissions, engaging guest artists, community outreach, recordings and large-scale performances.

In all cases, contributions from the Fund will serve to enhance the ensemble's knowledge of the choral repertoire, support performances of the highest caliber and add to the cultural life of the wider community.

Scholarship Award

The Dr. Steven Thomas Scholarship will be awarded twice each season to a student who sings with Arcadia Chorale and who best demonstrates the commitment to musicianship and continued learning that is central to Dr. Thomas's legacy. The recipient must be a current member of the Chorale in good standing and must meet all eligibility requirements set forth by the Memorial Fund Committee.

Interested applicants may contact the Memorial Fund Committee for more information: arcadiachorale@gmail.com

History

The singers and Board members of Arcadia Chorale established the Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund at the beginning of our 2020-2021 season, following Dr. Thomas's untimely passing in July 2020.

Dr. Thomas had been on medical leave during our 2019-2020 concert season, after having been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome just days before our 2019 Pops Concert. Unfortunately, within months, his illness progressed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Though we knew he was very ill, we were still stunned at his passing. In the days after, separated for safety during the pandemic, we virtually discussed several ways to honor our cherished friend, who had been our Music Director since 2004.

Throughout his time with the Chorale, Dr. Thomas was also the Director of Choral Activities at Wilkes University. As part of his dedication to the development of young singers, Dr. Thomas frequently programmed collaborations between Wilkes choral ensembles and the Chorale, and a select few of his Wilkes singers joined us as full members. We are fortunate to count several of Dr. Thomas's alumni among our roster today.

Dr. Thomas influenced all of us who had the pleasure of singing for him, but those who had the additional privilege of working with him in their college years all speak of Dr. Thomas's formative encouragement of their musical development. In addition to dedicating the 2020-2021 season to Dr. Thomas, we decided an appropriate, lasting tribute would be to award a scholarship in his name to students who sing with the Chorale.

This scholarship, which will be awarded from the Memorial Fund, acknowledges the combination of artistry and education that in many ways defined our experiences with Dr. Thomas. Though we deeply mourn his loss, we are committed to honoring him in our work and in our music. We hope to award the inaugural Dr. Steven Thomas Scholarship during our 2021-2022 season.

Our Donors

Support for the Memorial Fund comes from individual donations. We hope to include a summer music festival in the future to help support the Fund's mission as well.

Donations can be made through the Chorale's website, or by sending a check made payable to "Arcadia Chorale" with "Memorial Fund" in the memo line:

Arcadia Chorale

555 Northern Blvd. #350

Chinchilla, PA 18410

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions we have received in this inaugural year of the Memorial Fund. Dr. Thomas touched many lives during his time with the Chorale: Our donors include members of the ensemble, the Board and our audiences; community supporters; alumni and colleagues from Wilkes University; and family and friends, all of whom are committed to furthering Dr. Thomas's legacy.

The Chorale looks forward to including a full list of our donors by donation tier in next season's programs.

We hope to see you at a concert so that we may thank you in person!

News

To commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Thomas's passing, the Arcadia Chorale ran a week-long fundraising campaign for the Memorial Fund in July 2021. Thanks to our very generous supporters, we exceeded our goal! We look forward to many years of supporting students and special projects for the Chorale in Dr. Thomas's name.

Of course, we can always use more help — please consider donating today!

2020 - 2021 Memorial Fund Committee

Matthew Socha, chair

Martina Barna

Benjamin Collins

Mariane Ferrantino

Susan Minsavage

Matthew Rupcich

Samantha Schumacher