Thomas Warfield is the founder/artistic director of PeaceArt International (a local/global outreach organization using the arts to foster world peace), director of dance at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, associate director of Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre and vocal soloist at Unity Church in Rochester, NY and the Chilmark Community Church on Martha’s Vineyard. He is also co-president of Rochester Region Association of Teaching Artists (RRATA) and serves on the State Board of ATA.
The son of a minister and a conductor and nephew of internationally renowned singers William Warfield and Leontyne Price, Thomas Warfield began piano lessons at age 4, and at 6 was performing on stage. He began dance training in Rochester, NY with Olive McCue at the Mercury Ballet, studied at the School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet in NYC, and on full scholarship at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.
His 14yrs. with the Opera Theatre of Rochester, and performances with the New York City Opera and Metropolitan Opera allowed him to work with directors Franco Zefferelli and Spike Lee, composers John Adams and Marvin Hamlisch, scientist Carl Sagan, singer Placido Domingo, Beverly Sills and others. As a singer his repertoire spans German lieder to gospel. His numerous acting credits include “The Tinman” in The Wiz and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. As a dancer he’s performed works by Balanchine, Graham, Cunningham, Limon, Paul Taylor, Isadora Duncan, V. Nijinsky, B. Nijinska, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Jane Dudley and dozens of others and in companies worldwide. Warfield earned a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase, receiving the President’s Award for Excellence and MFA from the University of Utah winning a research fellowship in dance ethnology.
As a professional dancer, singer, pianist, actor, composer, choreographer, music/theatre director, teacher, producer and poet, Mr. Warfield has traveled to over 70 U.S. cities and over 35 foreign cities including: Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, Paris, Taiwan, Bangkok, Seoul, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rome, Moscow, mainland China and Macau (where he was decorated as an honorary citizen). The New York Times, Hong Kong Standard, London Times, China News and La Monde are among the many newspapers which have written of Mr. Warfield’s exemplary performances. Mr. Warfield has worked as a facilitator/trainer for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) doing workshops for schools and corporations in leadership training, welcoming diversity, prejudice reduction and non-violent conflict resolution. He has presented solo concerts and workshops in schools, hospitals, community centers, theological seminaries, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities; working with urban youth, professional dancers/musicians, the elderly, mentally & physically disabled, drug/alcohol abusers, blind & deaf children, AIDS/cancer patients and many others world-wide. Thomas Warfield has taught extensively in the U.S.A. and abroad on a variety of subjects which include: ballet, modern and African-based dance, choreography, improvisation, piano, voice, drama, poetry, English, African-American studies, art/religion, and classes on inner peace, self-esteem, and workshops on nurturing compassion.
Mr. Warfield also serves as freelance dance critic for Gannett Newspapers. Thomas Warfield’s original idea and project of creating “A Global Poem In Praise Of Peace” garnered global recognition by letters from Leonard Bernstein, Mother Teresa and hundreds of others. His first CD, “Celebrate the Moment” featuring original songs, vocals and piano by Thomas Warfield is sold throughout the world. Warfield is listed in “Most Outstanding Young Men in America,” and “Who’s Who.” He has won numerous awards including: the 2002 OOBR (Off Off Broadway) Award for Choreography, 2000 award for volunteerism from The United Nations Association, the 1999 Dance Award from the Community of Colors, and a 1991 National Dance Assoc. Award.
Mr. Warfield serves on the boards of the Education for Peace, International Associations of Rochester, Dance Rochester, World Dance Alliance (Africa committee), The Gateways Music Festival, the China Millennium Council (vice-pres), ARTWalk (the outdoor museum), Race & Reconciliation, Inc., University of Rochester’s AIDS Vaccine Trails Unit Community Advisory Board, William Warfield Scholarship Fund at the Eastman School of Music Advisory Board, and a former board member of Young Audiences, Inc.
Thomas Warfield attributes his passion and blessings in life to the SPIRIT of love.