DHS Choir Awarded Donation from Ford Motor Co

DHS Choir Receives Donation from Grammy Foundation funded by Ford Motor Company
Posted on 03/22/2023
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When DeSoto High School Choral Director Pamela Dawson was named Grammy Music Educator of the Year for 2023, her students won more than the experience of witnessing their beloved teacher garner another accolade-- this recognition is accompanied by a $10,000 donation to the school’s music program, funded by Ford Motor Company.


Upon receiving the check, Ms. Dawson knew exactly what she wanted to do with the newly acquired funds. 


"I would love to provide scholarships for our students to further their music education chorally so that they can take private voice lessons," said Dawson who presented the large check to the Choir Booster President Lisa Allen, Secretary Elizabeth Dawson and DeSoto's High School Principal Jasen Campbell.


"Thank you so much! On behalf of the DeSoto Choir Boosters, we thank you so much for your donation," Choir Booster President Lisa Allen said.


"It’s all for the students. Everything. Every dime is for our students," Dawson said with a smile.


After the applause, Campbell commented on the generous gift, "On behalf of DeSoto, we thank you Ms. Dawson for your support of this program, the kids, and what you’ve done for them over the years. Thank you for that and we know these scholarships will go to helping our students to become more like Ms. Dawson in their craft."


Students, faculty staff and a few of Dawson's many friends were present for the donation.


Ronald Flanagan, a 2015 graduate from DeSoto High School, attended the event held in the choir room. Flanagan was part of Dawson's Concert Choir, JV Choir, and A Capella Choir. He was also a photographer and the videographer for the Eaglettes during high school.


Flanagan spoke of Ms. Dawson's success, "I know she feels ecstatic, and happy to be recognized for all of the great work she’s done. She doesn’t treat anybody differently. She doesn’t show favoritism. She doesn’t say, 'I love this choir over this choir,' it’s all the same love. It’s all genuine and it’s just an amazing feeling to be able to come back and be able to help her."


With students now able to receive voice lessons, Flanagan added, "Being able to get a coach who has been doing this for years, being able to learn and being able to really hone in on what you really want to do and just being able to perfect your craft: there’s nothing like it."


Flanagan also assisted Dawson with her Grammy nomination by recording and editing her videos, "It's something a lot of people can't say: that they were actually able to come back with their choir director and help her win something that will last a lifetime and I just want to thank her."


After being asked if he still sings, Mr. Flanagan laughed and said, “You know, just a little bit - in the shower, out of the shower, but I’ll always sing just because of Ms. Dawson.”