Pianist and Vocal Coach, Wintergreen Summer Music Academy
- Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts - Associate Professor and Faculty Chair
Tracy Cowden, associate professor of piano and vocal coach at Virginia Tech, has appeared as soloist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble. As a collaborative pianist, Cowden frequently performs with a diverse array of soloists and chamber ensembles, including recent concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s principal flutist Mathieu Dufour, clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, tenor Vinson Cole, and soprano Elizabeth Futral as well as performances at the 2014 National Flute Association Conference, the 2012 College Music Society National Conference and at the 2012 International Trumpet Guild. Cowden has previously performed with The Great Noise Ensemble, the Cavani Quartet, the Audubon Quartet, and the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and is a frequent performer at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival.
Cowden is the chair of the music program in the School of Performing Arts | Music | Theatre | Cinema at Virginia Tech, where she has been honored for her work as a teacher with a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her students have been accepted into graduate programs at the Eastman School of Music, the University of South Carolina, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and current student Travis Whaley was accepted into the 2014 International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany. Also active as a clinician and lecturer, she has presented master classes and workshops on topics related to collaborative music-making and creative programming at national conferences for both the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the College Music Society (CMS), as well as in New York, Virginia, Michigan, and Ohio. Cowden is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through MTNA, and also currently serves on the Editorial Board for American Music Teacher, the journal published by MTNA.
Cowden is a passionate advocate for new music, and has premiered many new chamber works as soloist and with colleagues around the country. Recent projects include the commissioning of the song cycle Vegetable Verselets from composer Daron Aric Hagen, and Confronting Inertia, a recording of new works for trumpet and piano with John Adler, released by Origin Classical.
A Michigan native, Cowden has previously served as a faculty member at Ohio Wesleyan University, Kalamazoo College and Hope College. She received the D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in piano accompanying and chamber music from the Eastman School of Music, and a B.M. degree in piano performance from Western Michigan University.