Nyla Wright Woodside, a well-known local pianist and singer, died Thursday of complications of liver cancer at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. She was 70.
A Baltimore native, Mrs. Woodside graduated from Eastern High School in 1946 and attended the Peabody Conservatory to study voice, piano and opera. She graduated in 1949 with a teacher's certificate in voice.
Her musical debut as a soprano, at a concert dedicating the band shell at Clifton Park in 1949, led to a series of radio programs and an invitation to be the soloist for the combined 70-piece No. 1 Park and Municipal Band's Independence Day program at the park in 1950.
That year she won the Thomas Award at Peabody and sang the lead in the Peabody Opera Company's production of "Madame Butterfly." She performed in English at Peabody and performed the opera in Italian three years later with the Baltimore Civic Opera Company.
By then, she had joined the Peabody staff, teaching piano and voice.
In the late 1950s, she met and married Alvey Ruppersberger. They divorced a few years later.
Mrs. Woodside continued to teach students at her Guilford home. She also accompanied services at and directed choral groups for Masonic groups and congregations, including Temple Oheb Shalom, Har Sinai Congregation, First Church of Christ Scientist, Grace United Methodist Church, Loch Raven Baptist Church and Hamilton Presbyterian Church.
At Hamilton Presbyterian, she met Vernon Woodside, whom she married in 1968. He died in 1977. Mrs. Woodside continued to play the piano and teach as recently as September.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Hamilton Presbyterian Church, 5532 Harford Road in Baltimore.
Mrs. Woodside is survived by a sister, Melva Green, and an aunt, Edith May Palmer, both of Baltimore, and several cousins.