Tracy Cowart (mezzo-soprano, medieval harp & symphonia, early dance) enjoys a wide range of interests, from twelfth-century polyphony to contemporary art music. She has sung with period ensembles including Apollo’s Fire, La Donna Musicale, Exsultemus, Musica Pacifica, Opera Lafayette, the Newberry Consort, Seven Times Salt, Shenandoah Bach Festival, Three Notch’d Road, and the Washington Bach Consort. As an active resident of New York City, she sings with the Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, and has appeared at Lincoln Center with the American Classical Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall with the Venice Baroque Orchestra and Tenet, and at the Guggenheim Museum and Met Cloisters with the Vox Vocal Ensemble. She was three times featured as part of Early Music America’s Young Performer’s Festival with Case Western Reserve University – twice at the Boston Early Music Festival, where she was also awarded a spot with the Early Music America’s Select Festival Ensemble, and also at the Berkeley Early Music Festival. As co-director of the 17th-century ensemble Labyrinth Baroque with Richard Kolb, she has staged and performed in 17th-centuty pastiches that juxtapose florid virtuosity and ribald comedy.
Tracy is also co-founder of the medieval ensemble Alkemie, with whom she ponders the perspectives and sounds of centuries past, especially as they resonate with (and challenge!) our modern-day perceptions. Heralded as “enchanting” and “indicating [the] future health of the field of early music,” Alkemie has developed and toured five programs along the eastern seaboard, and performed on early music concert series including the Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Beacon Hill Concert Series, Capitol Early Music Series, Gotham Early Music Series, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, and the War Memorial Arts Initiative. The ensemble has served as Artists-in-Residence at Avaloch and Fairmont State University, and will appear this coming season on the Music Before 1800 and Amherst Early Music series.
Also known for her interpretations of new music, Tracy has sung with the Great Noise Ensemble, with whom she performed the world premiere of Armando Bayolo’s “Kaddish: Passio: Rothko” and the role of “Hadewijch” in Louis Andriessen’s Die Materie. She has sung cabaret with the Richmond Festival of Music, and toured with Weird Uncle, an experimental group that fuses medieval modes, jug band, and electronica.
Tracy received her M.M. in Early Music from the Longy School of Music and her D.M.A. in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University; she serves as staff/faculty with the Amherst Early Music Festival, and has been a guest-artist/lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, Fairmont State University, Bucknell University, and guest artist at the Society for Seventeenth Century Music. She is a proud collaborator with the Charlottesville-based Early Music Access Project (EMAP).
As an early movement specialist, Tracy choreographs and performs as a medieval, renaissance, and baroque dancer, with appearances at the Charlottesville Music Teachers Association, Pegasus Early Music, and El Fuego. She has studied with Julie Andrijeski and Ken Pierce.
In addition to her work as a musician, Tracy is an apprentice piano technician with Orpheus Piano Company and is on Advisory Board of S’Cool Sounds, a cross-cultural music education program for children who lack access to arts education. When she is not performing, she is an enthusiastic forager and herbalist, and member of the New York Mycological Society.