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Applause Worthy!

Broadway performer enjoys judging Fiesta-val

Marc Dalio's route to Broadway took an interesting set of turns, some luck, and the support of his parents and mentors.

With a long list of professional theatrical credits, including starring roles in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Pippin, West Side Story, South Pacific and others, Dalio - a choral judge for Fiesta-val - wasn't very interested in singing or theater growing up.

"I was heavy into academics and sports," he said. His parents wanted him to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, and he received an appointment. Thinking about it, he told his parents that he really wanted to study medicine, and they supported his decision to attend Villanova University on a ROTC scholarship instead.

At that point, Dalio's only brush with the stage was unexpectedly landing the lead role in Pippin, his high school play. His parents told him later that they weren't even sure he could sing!

At Villanova, his interest in singing developed, and he joined every choir on campus. "It was an amazing artistic fulfillment," he said.

Noting his heavy involvement in music, his parents asked him if he really wanted to study music instead of medicine. He did, and so he made another change, transferring to Rowan University to double major in vocal performance and music education. There he met Clarence Miller, a former football player and musician, who taught voice and conducting and founded the college's Concert Choir. Dalio "trusted" Miller with his voice, and the professor became his mentor.

Each summer during college, Dalio auditioned for the Southeast Theater Conference (SETC), which fills roles in regional theaters from Virginia to Florida. He landed roles each summer and traveled around the south performing.

Three months out of college, Dalio was cast in the Broadway national tour of Les Miserables, an accomplishment nearly unheard of in the theater world. Most performers take years to work their way up to such a role.

Later he spent five years in Germany performing in Miss Saigon and Disney's Beauty and the Beast, portraying first Gaston, and later the Beast. There he met his wife and they had their first child.

Back in the U.S., Dalio was cast in the Broadway national tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, winning the Best of Denver and Metrolina Theatre awards and a nomination for a National Theatre Award. In all, Dalio sang in 2,700 performances of Beauty and the Beast.

Now with two children in school, Dalio continues to perform while also working as head of musical theatre at New Jersey City University.

Even with so much to occupy his time, Dalio continues to enjoy judging Fiesta-val choral competitions, usually in New York. "I really enjoy that setting," he said. Often while touring, the company would hold master classes for high school kids to listen and work with them on perfecting their skills.

He believes that music helps students deal with and work through their emotional paths in life. "Music helps you connect as an emotional person," he said. The arts operate on an emotional plane - "joy, love, anger, ecstasy."

Festivals, where students are exposed to professional singers and musicians, "reinforce what their everyday teachers are telling them," he said. He thinks the immediate feedback of festival participation helps both students and directors as they work to improve their musical skills.

He also enjoys meeting and working with the "diverse and insightful" people who judge along with him. They are all "connected in making things more beautiful."

Applause Worthy!

Broadway performer enjoys judging Fiesta-val

Marc Dalio's route to Broadway took an interesting set of turns, some luck, and the support of his parents and mentors.

With a long list of professional theatrical credits, including starring roles in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Pippin, West Side Story, South Pacific and others, Dalio - a choral judge for Fiesta-val - wasn't very interested in singing or theater growing up.

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Little Happies

"I have worked with Fiesta-val since they opened their doors, both as a director and now for more than 23 years as a professional tour operator. Our experiences have always been extremely professional and each year we have several clients attend their programs. Based on the evaluations we receive from our clients, as well as over two decades of working with their owners and staff, Fiesta-val is always one of just a few festival companies at the top of the list!"

- Bryan Stevenson, Founder & CEO, CCIS, Inc.


"We had a fantastic trip! Everyone at Fiestaval was extremely friendly and helpful. All my students had a great time."

- Tara Andrews, Director, Avery County High School


"We have worked with Fiesta-val for over thirty plus years and have been pleased each and every time. They make it so easy in all forms of communication. Our family business always has Fiesta-val included in the yearly offerings to our music clientele looking for a fantastic competition experience. They continually strive to give music ensembles the best opportunity to showcase their talents at great venues."

- Jace McMahon, Jim Mulvihill Tours

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