DeKalb native, Broadway star Melissa Dye plans to sing show tunes April 28 with Concert Choir

Melissa Dye
Melissa Dye

Broadway star and NIU alumna Melissa Dye is the guest artist Sunday, April 28, when the NIU School of Music presents “Broadway Dreams.”

The spring concert, which features the Concert Choir and the University Chorus, begins at 3 p.m. in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the Music Building.

On the program: a variety of Broadway show-stoppers from hits such as “Rent,” “Les Miserable,” “West Side Story,” “Company,” “Show Boat” and more.

Dye, a Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated actress, will join the Concert Choir. Dye is a DeKalb native and a graduate of the NIU School of Music, where she received her B.M. in vocal performance in 1988.

She has had a successful performing career since her graduation from NIU. Broadway credits include Rapunzel in the Tony Award-winning revival of “Into the Woods,” starring Vanessa Williams; Sandy in the first revival of “Grease;” and the Mirror Bride and Christine’s understudy in “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Beyond Broadway, Dye has performed as the full-time Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera” in the Toronto production, and was chosen as the Christine alternate for the Canadian national tour of the production. Dye has also performed in many productions locally in the Chicago area, and her voice has been heard on several vocal recordings including the cast of “Into the Woods” (revival cast) recording.

Her TV credits include “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “ER,” “Grounded for Life” and more.

She will join the NIU Concert Choir on a few of its pieces, and also will perform several solo pieces, including, “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” from “The Phantom of the Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and “Don’t Rain on my Parade” from “Funny Girl” by Bob Merrill and Jule Styne.

As an NIU alumna, she continues to be a proud supporter of her alma mater. Dye served several years on the NIU Alumni Association Board of Directors, where she was given the thrilling opportunity to perform the National Anthem at Wrigley Field in Chicago for the Cubs vs. White Sox game as a representative of NIU.

Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson

Members of the Concert Choir are thrilled to have Dye coming to perform with them, said Eric Johnson, director of choral activities at NIU and the director of the NIU Concert Choir and Chamber Choir.

“I’m very excited to have Melissa return to the School of Music,” Johnson said.

Because Dye is from the area, Johnson added, her life stories that she has to tell will be more relatable to the students of the Concert Choir. “She understands our community and has come through our program,” Johnson said. “She will be a fabulous model for the students.”

Dye will host a master-class Saturday, April 27, for students of the School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance. She will offer advice and answer questions about real-life Broadway and performing experiences she has had throughout her life; during the afternoon, she will hold mock-auditions for students who would like to audition in a “real-life Broadway” setting.

The concert is free and open to the public, and the Music Building is accessible to all. Graduate director Christopher Joyner will conduct the University Chorus.

NIU also will stream the concert online.

For more information, call (815) 753-7984 or email ejohnsn@niu.edu.

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