Photo: Dana Scruggs
-SIGMA ALPHA IOTA CHORALE
Chicago Native. Allison was born into a musical household, listening to jazz, bebop, Motown,blues, gospel, world music, classical, and funk at a very young age. She started singing in The Chicago Children's Choir, Church Youth Choirs & Kenwood Academy Concert Choir. Both choirs sent her to places like Carnegie Hall, Lyric Opera, and abroad to Scotland, England, Wales, and Switzerland, opening her to the universal language of music and song.
Allison received her B.M. in Voice-Opera at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with Dr. Ollie Watts Davis. She had dreams to be the next Kathleen Battle as a Black coloratura soprano but her heart and fate led her to NYU (Steinhart) where she received her M.M in Musical Theater. After her studies at NYU, Allison was selected as a "Broadway Rising Star" at Townhall, NYC and her musical theater journey began!
She went on to perform in regional theater (Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, and the non-equity tour of The Color Purple. Then she got the call to join The Book of Mormon cast on Broadway as Nabulungi understudy and female swing. After a year and a half, she joined Motown the Musical on Broadway as Florence Ballad and Diana Ross understudy. A few months later, she took over the role of Diana Ross and led the 1st and 2nd Broadway national tours of Motown the Musical from 2014-2017. She received the BroadwayWorld Chicago award for Best Female Leading Actress & the NAACP theater award nomination for Best Female Lead Actress.
After completing the Motown tour, in Summer 2018 she" switched labels" and joined the cast of Soul:The Stax Musical at Baltimore Center Stage, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, as Carla Thomas "Queen of Memphis Soul", Jean Knight, and the Staple Singers.
This past fall, she had her Kennedy Center debut in the star studded cast of Little Shop of Horrors for their Broadway Concert Series and right afterwards, joined another star studded concert of Gershwin's My One and Only at the Roundabout Theater.
In March, Allison had her Jazz at the Lincoln Center debut, starring in Kurt Elling's The Big Blind, a Jazz Noir Radio Drama, starring Dee
Dee Bridgewater, Ian Shaw, Ben Vereen and Ulysses Owen's Big Band.
Favorite collaborations and concert milestones include singing with Motown & Music Legend Stevie Wonder in his "Songs in the Key of Life" concert and several works of composer Ted Hearne, including his acclaimed Katrina Ballads ("Ashley Nelson") & "You're Causing Quite A Disturbance" with Erykah Badu & Brooklyn Philharmonic. She is currently a member of the Marble Collegiate Choir directed by Ken Dake.
From Broadway stages to jazz clubs to orchestral halls, Allison's love of the language of music knows no boundaries.