Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund
Continuing the artistic and educational legacy of our beloved Music Director, mentor and friend.
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.
The Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial 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.
Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2021 scholarship award. Materials must be submitted by November 15, 2021. For a copy of the application or for more information, interested applicants may contact the Memorial Fund Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Due to the overwhelming success of our Summer 2021 campaign and the support of donors over the 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 seasons, the Chorale raised the initial principal to endow the Memorial Fund. In November 2021, we officially partnered with the Scranton Area Community Foundation to establish the Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund for Arcadia Chorale, an endowed fund that will ensure we can support the Chorale's student singers and special projects for many years to come.
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:
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!
Arcadia Chorale Establishes Endowment for the
Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund
Due to the overwhelming success of our Summer 2021 campaign and the support of donors during our past two seasons, the Chorale has raised the initial principal to endow the Memorial Fund! In November 2021, we officially partnered with the Scranton Area Community Foundation to establish an endowed fund that will ensure we can support the Chorale's student singers and special projects in Steven's name for many years to come.
“We’re grateful for every donation we’ve received in Steven’s honor since the Fund began in 2020,” says Sue Minsavage, chair of the Memorial Fund Committee. “After the generous response to last summer’s campaign, an endowment for our Fund became a possibility. We’re delighted to now house the endowment with SAF, whose work for the betterment of our community is in line with the Chorale’s, and Steven’s, mission.”
Currently, the Chorale offers two scholarships per year, up to $500 each. We look forward to building the Memorial Fund endowment over time, with the primary purpose of increasing our awards for student singers.
Donations can be made via PayPal here, or a check may be sent to Arcadia Chorale with “Memorial Fund” in the memo line. SAF will also accept donations directly: The Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Fund for Arcadia Chorale
As always, we thank you for the many ways you support the Chorale, financial and otherwise. We couldn’t make our music without you! We hope you and your families are well—and we hope to see you online or in person soon!
2021 - 2022 Memorial Fund Committee
Susan Minsavage, chair