Founded in the spring of 2013 by five friends with a zeal for medieval music, Alkemie’s mission is to share with modern-day audiences the alternative perspectives of life and music inherent in the sounds of centuries past, especially as they resonate with, or challenge, our contemporary perceptions. More specifically, we specialize in medieval music for voices and instruments, with a particular interest in the porous boundaries between the “high” and “low” music of this period – traversed repeatedly from clerics penning bawdy Latin poems in manuscript margins to courtly lovers evoking the mystical sublime.
To date, Alkemie has developed five programs and toured with them along the eastern seaboard, including performances on the Capitol Early Music Series (Washington, DC), Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS – New York City), Beacon Hill Concert Series (Stroudsburg, PA), Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR – Amherst, VA), and the War Memorial Arts Initiative (Baltimore). Alkemie served as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the historic Grace Church in Newark, NJ from 2015-2017, and were Artists-in-Residence at the School of Fine Arts at Fairmont State University in West Virginia in 2016-2017. Alkemie will be featured at the 2018 Indianapolis Early Music Festival. (www.alkemie.org)
Members of the Ensemble
Tracy Cowart | Mezzo-soprano & Harp
Praised by the New York Times as “the real attraction” with a voice that is “light and lithe,” Tracy Cowart has performed with a number of period ensembles, including the American Classical Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, La Donna Musicale, Exsultemus, Musica Pacifica, Opera Lafayette, the Newberry Consort, Newton Baroque, Three Notch’d Road, and the Washington Bach Consort. Also known for her interpretations of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, she performs with Great Noise Ensemble and has appeared at the Richmond Festival of Music. 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 (CWRU). She is also an avid forager, with a particular interest in mycology.
David McCormick | Vielle
David McCormick performs regularly on both violin and vielle (medieval fiddle) and is in demand as an educator and arts leader. He was founding Artistic Director of Charlottesville-based baroque ensemble Three Notch’d Road and is a founding member of Alkemie. David is Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, where he recently appeared as featured violin soloist for the opening concert of the 25th Anniversary Season. David has also recently performed with Washington Bach Consort, Opera Lafayette, and as featured guest artist for the Bach-Handel Festival at Shenandoah University. David served for two years as President of the Charlottesville Music Teachers Association. He teaches private violin and viola lessons and offers workshops for educators, students, and performers in early music performance practice. His degrees in music education and performance from Shenandoah University and Case Western Reserve University include specialized training in chamber music and historical performance. He is a 2017 recipient of Shenandoah Conservatory’s Rising Stars Alumni Award.
Elena Mullins | Soprano & Percussion
Elena Mullins has wide-ranging interests in the field of early music. She has sung with The Newberry Consort, Les Délices, Apollo’s Fire, Three Notch’d Road, Generation Harmonique, and Quire Cleveland, and is the director of Early Music Singers at Case Western Reserve University. Elena takes a scholarly interest in the performance practices of early repertoires, reaching back as far as the twelfth century. In 2017 she co-founded the medieval ensemble Trobár with Allison Monroe and Karin Weston. She holds a DMA in Historical Performance Practice from CWRU and a BA in Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music. Elena is an avid teacher of baroque dance, piano, and voice. In her spare time she loves to cook with friends and boulder at the neighborhood climbing gym.
Sian Ricketts | Soprano & Recorder
Sian Ricketts enjoys a multi-faceted career as a singer and a period woodwinds specialist. She regularly performs with ensembles such as Bach Collegium Fort Wayne (IN), Apollo’s Fire (OH), Bourbon Baroque (NY), Labyrinth Baroque (NY) and New Vintage Baroque (NY). Sian holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in historical performance practice from Case Western Reserve University with concentrations in voice and baroque oboe.
Niccolo Seligmann | Vielle, Percussion, & Viola da Gamba
Multi-instrumentalist Niccolo Seligmann is an improviser, composer, arranger, producer, and educator. He plays over twenty acoustic instruments from around the world, and also designs his own software instruments. You can hear him play four instruments on the soundtrack of the PC game Civilization VI. He received a degree in viol performance and early music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in 2015. Seligmann is a member of the medieval ensemble Alkemie, The Broken Consort, Hesperus, and many others. He has performed across North America and Europe, fondly recalling concerts at the Kennedy Center, in a bustling plaza in Nogales, Mexico, and inside a 2,000-year-old redwood tree in northern California. 2016 marks the beginning of his industrial EDM drag queen side project, LADYPRODUKT. (NiccoloSeligmann.com)