Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera
Gayla Bauer Blaisdell has been on the faculty of Central Washington University since 2008 where she is an Associate Professor and is the Vocal Area Coordinator. She has a vibrant studio of aspiring singers and directs the nationally award-winning CWU Opera Ensemble. In addition to her work at CWU, Gayla is a sought after masterclass clinician and pedagogue in the areas of vocal performance, opera directing and feminist musicology.
In addition to teaching, she has maintained a busy performance schedule. Gayla appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the American Composers Orchestra. She has sung in many major New York City venues including Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and Symphony Space, among others. In New York, she performed regularly with the Azure Ensemble, a contemporary chamber ensemble and was featured in a recital at the Kosciuszko Foundation by the American Accent Concert Series. Gayla often appears with the CWU ensembles to premiere contemporary works and collaborates with colleagues from CWU and around the country in recitals here in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.
Gayla has appeared at Benaroya Hall in Seattle as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana by Orff, the soprano soloist in the Hovhaness Magnificat and as a featured soloist in a concert with the Seattle Wind Symphony. She was a soloist with the Synergia Northwest Ensemble in McCaw Hall. Gayla has appeared with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra several times; performing orchestrated Schubert lieder, as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem and a concert of Verdi and Wagner arias and duets with her tenor husband, Tor Blaisdell. Gayla joined the Wenatchee Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as the Countess. Soon, Gayla will be releasing a CD of vocal/piano music featuring music written by Elaine Ross and a set of songs by Stephen Paulus.
Gayla holds a Ph.D in Vocal Performance from New York University where she was a member of the NYU Adjunct Voice Faculty for seven years. She has established herself as a scholar in feminist theory and opera presenting her work at national and regional venues since the completion of her dissertation in the field. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Opera and a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory and a Bachelors Degree in Voice and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Gayla also trained at the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Tanglewood, Opera North, the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy and Dorian Opera Theater.