ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Thomas Warfield is a familiar face — he’s the nephew of famed opera singer William Warfield who also called Rochester his home. 

A professionally trained singer, pianist and dancer, Thomas serves as the lead instructor at RIT’s national technical institute for the deaf.

He says in the Warfield family the fight for equality was just as important as his classical arts training. 

Today as a higher education instructor — he still faces stereotypes and misconceptions. The daily skills he uses to promote compromise, perceptions are purposefully woven into his lessons about space, angles, curves and rhythms. 

This diverse class of students mirrors society… A mix of hearing and deaf students, some majoring in science and health, others pursing careers in gaming and animation.