Fine arts auditorium to honor beloved choir teacher

Published 1:17 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Oxford High School Fine Arts Auditorium will soon display the name of Ava H. Bonds, former Oxford High School  Choral Director. Bonds, who passed away in 2012 had a 43-year teaching career with 34 of those years spent at Oxford High and established OHS musical theater as we know it today. Bonds was the pianist at First Baptist Church, Oxford, MS for over 30 years.

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

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 orchestra and rigging pit, state-of-the-art theatrical lighting and rigging, multiple band rooms, a scene shop room, culinary classrooms, and art classrooms.

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The Oxford School District with the Bonds family will host a dedication ceremony for the Ava H. Bonds Auditorium at Oxford High School on February 23, 2023, at 6:00 pm. 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 Ava H. Bonds  Auditorium.