Mary Sherhart

Mary Sherhart is one of America's leading teachers and performers of traditional Balkan vocal music.

Mary with flowers

2012 Aspasia Phoutrides Pulakis Award recipient from Seattle's Ethnic Heritage Council, given annually to an individual who has contributed significantly to a Northwest ethnic community.

2006 Artist Trust / Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship recipient

Teacher, singer, healer of hearts through music

My life has been deeply enriched by the music of eastern Europe.  The friendships and experiences go far beyond anything I could have hoped for in this lifetime.  I feel such gratitude to the people who have been so kind along this path.  You composed a life song for me that is poignant, sweet and dramatic.  Such a distance traveled from when I first heard Balkan music as a teenager in 1970. 

Photo by Charlie Jirov

In 2010 I decided to hang up the red sequined dress, get out of the limelight and take time to for rest and rejuvenation after so many years of rewarding, but hard work. It wasn’t long, however, before my natural impulse took over and I started the Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir, a program of the Bulgarian Cultural and Heritage Center of Seattle. We’ve grown from the original 12 singers to today over 40, all born in Bulgaria, ranging in age from 25 to over 80. We look forward to spending Wednesday evenings together, to sing, laugh, speak Bulgarian, and celebrate and support one another in our joys and sorrows. We share the rich culture of Bulgaria in local and international performances. Local filmmaker Bogdan Darev created a beautiful documentary about one of our choir members, Penka Enchva, Tazi Baba / This Baba. I produced the film as well as the CD Penka Encheva and Friends.

BVHomecoming BVSpaceNeedle
Photo by Edi ValehevaPhoto by Ivan Tashev
BV at Elka's Mary and Stefka
Photo by Ivan TashevMary and Stefka

More information about my work with Sevdah music is here.

A list of many other fine Balkan choirs is here.

Read about the many experiences and kindesses during my visit to Bosnia and Croatia in this blog.

Click here for stories and photos of previous postings.

To be added to my mailing list distributed by New Land Music, please send an email to:

Mary Sherhart


An artist biography is here: bio and  resume here: resume .