Black Studies Program

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas is the orchestra's talented piano player. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Thomas was an original member of the R&B group, "Sweet Thunder". He has also performed with numerous artists including the late James Cleveland, Dizzie Gillespie, Albert Ayler, Jean Carre, David Ruffin, and Grover Washington. His musical involvement also includes musical theater as a writer, performer, and musical director in performances such as "The Living Cross," "The Audition," and "Black Nativity," which have played throughout the United States and Canada. He is also a gifted educator, having worked at The Cleveland School of the Arts, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State University, and Case Western Reserve University. He is the co-author of a book entitled, "A Child's First Book of Spirituals," which is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award. Presently, he is a music teacher with the Cleveland Board of Education School District, Musical Staff member of The Southeast Seventh Day Adventist, Faculty member of The Cleveland State University, and Minister of Music at St. Timothy Baptist Church. He earned his undergraduate and graduate Music degrees from Cleveland State, Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, and postgraduate work at the Royal Holloway College in London, England.