Marian Vafiades was born on March 23, 1923 and grew up in Milton, MA. She attended the Boston University Summer School and New England Conservatory. She graduated in 1945 with a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in school music. She entered NEC as a trumpet player but switched to the French Horn, which she studied under William Valkenier.
During WWII, she played for USO tours that featured Claudette Colbert and Joe E. Brown. While at NEC, Vafiades had the opportunity to work with Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, performing Copland’s El Salon Mexico and Second Hurricane.
Vafiades taught for two years for the Army and twenty-seven years elsewhere including for settlement houses, prisoners, hospital patients, private schools, public schools etc. For two years, Vafiades worked for the Maine Seacoast Mission, traveling by boat to the outer islands.
Along with Sarah Caldwell, Vafiades co-founded Opera New England of Northern Maine. She served two terms on the Maine Arts Commission and three years for the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been asked to adjudicate for the Massachusetts Council for the Arts, the Maine Arts Commission, the NEA, and the NJ Arts Council in selecting arts organizations to receive grants. Vafiades founded and directed the Bangor Community Chorus for over twenty years and has helped to organize many festivals in northern Maine.
Marian was married to Bangor native Lewis Vafiades, who had his own international law practice. Mr.Vafiades passed away in 2001.
The Vafiades Papers include three folders of paper materials; one oral history interview recorded on CD.
The paper materials in this collection were donated to the NEC Archives by Marian Vafiades between 2007 and 2009. The oral history interview was conducted with Marian Vafiades on May 18, 2007 at Spaulding Library.
Access to the Marian Vafiades Papers can be arranged by making an appointment with the Archivist. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. There are no restrictions pertaining to this collection.
All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Archivist. This collection should be cited as: NECA 18.32. Marian Vafiades Collection, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.