The Women’s Chorus of Dallas has announced plans to build an Endowment Trust for the annual John Thomas Scholarship.
This is the 10th year the Women’s Chorus has presented the vocal scholarship to a female undergraduate or graduate student majoring in music and studying within 100 miles of the Dallas city limit. The monetary award has ranged between $500 and $1,400 in previous years, chorus officials said.
Funds for the Endowment Trust will be raised through private donations along with silent auctions held before each season subscription concert beginning, chorus officials said. Silent auction items are currently being accepted for the "Heart Lights" concert set for May 10.
The John Thomas Scholarship, named in honor the longtime gay and HIV activist, was first awarded in 1999, and it was created to honor a woman who had risen to meet the standards of personal and community excellence that Thomas set during his life, chorus officials said.
Thomas himself was involved with the Women’s Chorus of Dallas from its inception. He remained an active and integral part of the organization through his death on Jan. 21, 1999.
Thomas supported organizations that advanced the self-esteem and value of the gay and lesbian community and people with AIDS / HIV. He served as a volunteer or board member for more than 20 different organizations including AIDS Resource Center, Association of Gay and Lesbian Community Centers, Black Tie Dinner, Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Dallas Legal Hospice, Gay and Lesbian Health Association, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Nelson-Tebedo Health Resource Center, Razzle Dazzle Dallas, Stonewall Professional and Business Association, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Turtle Creek Chorale.
Chorus officials added the scholarship is intended to go to "a woman who’s voice would carry with it significant power and message — the message of a woman who had risen and was still striving to achieve excellence."
Donations for the Endowment Trust for the John Thomas Scholarship may be mailed to The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, c/o John Thomas Scholarship, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd, Ste. 210, Dallas, TX 75219. For more information, call 214-520-7828 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 11, 2008.