Madam Speaker, I would like to request the House's attention today to pay recognition to Althea Thompson Thomas of Montgomery, Alabama.
Mrs. Thomas currently serves at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church as the church's organist. In June of 1955, she was hired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and from her unique vantage point seated in the organ pit, she was able to witness his sermons each Sunday with an up close and personal view of the pulpit.
Mrs. Thomas is an accomplished composer, musician, artist, writer and educator. She has written and arranged musical pieces throughout her life and published musical compositions including four musical dramas, eleven books of piano works, three books of organ works and 25 choral works.
She has served as organist for several churches and her artwork has been exhibited across Alabama and the Southeast.
Over the years, she taught band, choral music and art in the Montgomery Public Schools and taught art, organ, piano, music theory and appreciation at Alabama State University and Alabama State Laboratory High School. She most recently worked at Alabama State University as an Adjunct Professor. Since 1982, she has taught piano, organ, wind instruments, percussions and guitar at the Thompson Legacy Studios (House of the Arts).
She is the daughter of the late H.O. Thompson and the late Faustine Hilliard Thompson. She is married to Wiley Thomas, Jr. and the mother of 6 children.
Mrs. Thomas has touched the lives of children and adults alike through her teaching, and I commend her for her dedication. I congratulate her on being honored at Dexter Avenue Memorial King Baptist Church for her contributions to the arts.
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