Edye Evans Hyde of the Hope College music faculty will receive the Ethel Coe Humanities Award during the 35th annual Giants Awards and Banquet Ceremony at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The program recognizes African American individuals for exceptional contributions in shaping the history and quality of life in Grand Rapids, and is coordinated by Grand Rapids Community College’s Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion. Sixteen individuals and groups will be among those honored with awards recognizing contributions from all aspects of community life. The Ethel Coe Humanities Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies a passion and talent in visual and performing arts.
Hyde, who is an instructor of jazz and directs the Gospel Choir at Hope, is executive director of the Grand Rapids-based Ebony Road Players. She has been teaching and performing jazz, blues and pop music for more 30 years in West Michigan, Los Angeles and Asia.
Founded in 2014, Ebony Road Players is a theater group whose mission is to inspire, educate and engage cultures of the West Michigan community with high-quality theater productions focused on black experience. The group has produced staged readings of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” Tracey Scott Wilson’s “The Story” and Jeff Stetson’s “The Meeting,” as well as original plays by local playwrights. The company performed at Hope in both March 2016 and September 2016.
Beyond her work with Ebony Road Players, Hyde has shared the stage with world-renowned blues singer Linda Hopkins, pop singer Michael Bolton, Maria Muldaur, actress Connie Stevens, the late Ray Charles and Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval. She has also appeared with The Grand Rapids Symphony and The West Shore Symphony performing songs from her acclaimed CDs “Girl Talk” and “Lady with A Song.” Her newest album is “Magic in His Eyes.” Her stage performances have included principal roles in “Dream Girls,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Blues For an Alabama Sky,” “Intimate Apparel,” “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” “Ragtime” and “Having Our Say.” Her credits also the role of Ms. Lucy in the locally produced television show “Come On Over!” and many other movie and video productions. She is also the narrator for the Grand Rapids Symphony Lollipops.
She received a Celebration of Soul Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award from the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2013, and was named Musician of the Year by the West Michigan Jazz Society in 2011.
A 1975 graduate of Creston High School in Grand Rapids, she holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Aquinas College, has taught K-12 vocal music, and also served as the assistant director of admissions at Grand Rapids Community College.
Her husband, Mike Hyde, is an instructor of jazz guitar at Hope. They have two grown children, Leah (Nikki) and Evan.