The theatre community of Evansville lost one of their finest this weekend.

The theatre community is in mourning today after Michael Dalto, one of the area's most influential music and voice teachers, passed away last night. Michael ran the D'Alto Studio of Performing Arts along with his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Laura and Amelia.

The outpouring of support that the Dalto family has received over the past 24 hours in a testament to how beloved Michael was to the community. He helped so many of my friends and colleagues become better performers and better people. He was one of the warmest people I've ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

To demonstrate just how amazing a man he was, here are some memories people are sharing on Facebook:

"How I wish I could have one more lesson with you- one more life talk - with you. I wish I could have just one more Michael hug and hear one more Michael joke and listen to that infectious laugh. I will always, always remember you with a smile on your face - but the smile that you have after you tell a dad joke, the one where you are SO tickled by how funny you are. I wish I could walk through the studio doors one more time and hear you singing. But most of all, I wish you peace. I wish you rest. You’ve given so much of your life to making others feel worthy, wanted, and loved. You were our champion. Everybody always wanted a piece of your time and you gave it unwaveringly. You’ve touched so many lives. The things you taught your “D’Alto kids” are things that we will teach our children and you will continue to touch lives. You’re in everything we do. I could never step onstage without thinking of you.

All of your students - we will always save a seat for you, because we know you will be there. You leave behind quite a legacy. You are truly one of the greats. Thank you, Mr. Wonderful." - Michele Rose

"I’m at a loss, my friends. Michael Dalto, your legacy is the love you gave us all. Thank you for being a second dad to me. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Thank you for your amazing example of love. Love is never gone." - Emily Durcholz

"What a great, great man. He touched so many lives, he helped a lot of people through the toughest points in their life. He truly was Mr. Wonderful. Our real life piano man. I never had a father growing up, and then I married Amelia, and he filled that role. I finally felt what it was to have a dad. He always said to me after Amelia and I had gotten engaged, "I'm finally going to have a son!" And after we were married, he'd say "I finally have a son!" He loved me so much, and I know he still does. He saw in me more than I ever saw in myself. He built me up, and made me feel like I could conquer the world. Your physical absence hurts. It rips me apart, and cuts to my core. But, I am comforted in knowing he will live forever in my heart, and in the hearts of so many. Rest well, Michael Dalto.

'Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die'" - Naem Madi

Michael was loved by all and will be truly missed. While I didn't have as many interactions with him as many others, when I recently reached out to Amy about Michael's health, I referred to him as "a good dude." Amy reassured me that he thought I was "a good dude" too. I hope I can continue to be a good dude and follow the example that you set.

 

If you'd like to help the Dalto family during their time of need, they have set up a GoFundMe to help with the medical bills accrued during this trying time.