Lecturer Myra Vassian grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, where some of her earliest musical influences were Appalachian folk music, jazz standards and opera. After receiving degrees in vocal performance from Baylor University and Western Carolina University, she was awarded an International Rotary Scholarship to attend the Conservatory of Music in Zürich, Switzerland. She remained in Switzerland for five years, earning a Performing Artist Diploma from the Biel Opera Studio. She made her European debut in the role of “Lauretta” from Gianni Schicchi and continued to sing the roles of “Norina” from Don Pasquale, “Zerlina” from Don Giovanni and “Madeleine” from Le postillon du Lonjeumeau in opera theaters throughout Switzerland. Upon returning to the United States, she performed the role of “Susanna” in The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Carolina and taught voice at Davidson College. From 1997 to 2007 she was Director of Music at The City Church, New York, and most recently served on the voice faculty of the Evening Division of the Juilliard School of Music for 10 years. Ms. Vassian has maintained a studio of private voice students in Manhattan since 1996 and in recent years enjoyed performing cabaret shows at the Metropolitan Room and the Duplex and Laurie Beechman theaters.