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Fine Arts Auditorium to Honor Beloved Choir Teacher

The OHS Fine Arts Auditorium. Photo via the OSD

The Oxford High School Fine Arts Auditorium will soon display the name of Ava H. Bonds, former Oxford High School Choral Director.

The OSD Board of Trustees approved the naming of the auditorium during a special meeting Thursday.

The late Ava Bonds. Photo provided

Bonds, who died in 2012, had a 43-year teaching career with 34 of those years spent at Oxford High and established the OHS musical. Bonds was the pianist at First Baptist Church for more than 30 years. 

“If you were lucky enough to know Ava Bonds, you know she was and still is admired, respected, and loved in Oxford,” said John Davenport, OHS theater teacher. “When I came to Oxford High as the theater teacher, she took me under her wing and left a tremendous mark on my life.”

After her passing in 2012, the Bonds family remained advocates for the construction of the Fine Arts Center at OHS – a project that was included in the 2017 bond referendum that passed by an overwhelming 83% vote.

In March 2021, doors were opened to the 42,134-square-foot building that includes a 656-seat auditorium with an orchestra and rigging pit, state-of-the-art theatrical lighting and rigging, multiple band rooms, a scene shop room, culinary classrooms, and art classrooms. 

OSD, along with the Bonds family,  will host a dedication ceremony for the Ava H. Bonds Auditorium at Oxford High School at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23.

The community is invited to attend the ceremony and stay for the opening night of “War Paint,” the 2023 OHS musical.

“It’s only fitting that we remember Ava Bonds on the opening night of a musical about two cosmetic industry giants. Ava loved her lipstick and I just know she would be flattered,” joked Davenport.

Two memorial plaques will be placed permanently inside the auditorium.

Staff report

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