LaToya Lain, a mezzo-soprano, was an assistant professor of voice at Oakwood College, a position she held in the middle of the first decade of this century. In addition to giving voice lessons, she also taught diction and conducted an opera workshop.
Following graduation from McDonogh #35 High School in New Orleans in 1994, Lain attended Florida State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in voice in 1999. She earned a master's degree in music in 2003 from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and completed a D.M.A. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2012.
Lain has placed in several competitions. She was a winner in the Gulf Coast Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2003 and in the Gerda Lissner Competition, won first place in a National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in Michigan, and was a finalist for the Classical Singer Magazine auditions. In the summer of 2005, she was one of sixteen selected from over 600 applicants to participate in the Young artists Program at the Chautauqua Opera.
She has performed in a number of operas. A partial listing of roles would include Tituba in The Crucible, Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Baba in The Medium, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Zita in Gianni Schhicchi, and Polinesso in Ariodante. Lain has performed and toured throughout the United States as well as in Italy, Great Britain, and Spain.
She is a member of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a highly select group of 16 to 22 singers, all soloists in their own right, who seek to preserve the legacy of the American Spiritual. They also perform jazz and other music of the black experience. Founded in 1995 by Everett McCorvey, a professor at the University of Kentucky, the group has enjoyed phenomenal success in its programs at opera houses and concert halls in the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan.
Lain is also active in running marathons. She is part of a group who through its running has helped raise funds to assist in the fight against leukemia and lymphoma.
Source: Information provided by LaToya Lain, 29 November 2006; Biography in program notes for a concert given by the American Spiritual Ensemble in February 2010; Numerous online sources (2012).