Voice of Pride winner Alvaro Ramalho is no stranger to singing


ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Executive Editor

When Alvaro Ramalho’s family moved to the U.S. from Brazil nearly 20 years ago, they no doubt expected to find opportunities wide open before them. But you wonder whether young Alvaro ever expected Justin Timberlake to be instrumental in his success.

That’s what happened on Aug. 21, however, when — following months of round-robin eliminations — Ramalho bested nine other talented singers to be named the Dallas Tavern Guild’s Voice of Pride 2016 winner. He performed three songs — a duet (“Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors) and two solo numbers, including the song “Stay” by composer Scott Alan, and JT’s “Pusher Love Girl.”

“I’ve always been a huge fan of JT’s voice and I got to have a lot of fun vocally with that one,” he winks.

Not that he needs to imitate anyone — in the future, young singers might want to imitate him. Ramalho has experience beyond his 26 years. It turned out “four” was the charm for him, as he’d competed at VOP three prior years (rising as high as first runner-up in 2014). But he’s been singing since he was a child — originally at his mother’s knee, but later in groups. He attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performance and Visual Arts in Downtown Dallas, “where I was exposed to essentially limitless opportunity to expand my music taste and knowledge,” he says. “I got into musical theater, salsa/merengue, opera. My dream role would be Moritz in Spring Awakening — [that show] is full of amazing music. Too bad I’m more of a singer than an actor! But all of these experiences and influences have shaped how I perform.”

alvaroramalho-2He traveled in a salsa band, “where we were able to perform for many different audiences.” He did musicals. And then he became a singing member of the Turtle Creek Chorale, even scoring a solo during its final concert this past season.
And of course, his secret weapon as an artist is the support of his boyfriend of six years, Sergio.

“He has definitely been my rock and I appreciate him so much. He not only has the patience to put up with my singing at home all the time, but he encourages me and attends all my performances,” Ramalho says.

Unfortunately, the night of his victory he didn’t have much time to celebrate. “I had to be at work early the morning after, so I had a couple of tequila shots with some close friends, family, and my boyfriend and then called it a night,” he says. But he’ll definitely luxuriate in the knowledge of knowing he touched many people with his voice… and will continue to do so.

“With all the negativity in the world, he [VOP competition] provides us a safe space to do what we love to do and forget about everything else for a little while,” he says. “And I’d also like to thank the Turtle Creek Chorale for their love and for welcoming me in with open arms this year. This organization has been extremely rewarding to be a part of. Everyone should get season tickets!”

Not a bad way to enjoy Ramalho’s singing all year long.

The Voice of Pride concert takes place during the festival inside Reverchon Park following the parade on Sept. 18.