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Teachers at the Old Town School

Kathy Cowan


Learn to use your voice with freedom to make the kind of music your feel in your heart. Kathy Cowan loves to sing and loves to teach singing. She provides a challenging but safe and friendly atmosphere for the discovery and development of the voice, while guiding the student with technical and artistic advice to develop his or her own voice and style, from pop, jazz, music theater, Celtic, rock, folk, classical and more.

Kathy gets down to basics of good technique right away, working on breathing, support, focus, freedom, strength, flexibility for each student’s individual needs.

Her performance career includes singing Irish folk songs with Doc Severinsen, touring with The Paul Winter Consort, Chicago’s Armstrong family, and many national symphony orchestras. Kathy Cowan has toured the USA and Europe singing Irish music and as the lead in a critically acclaimed show featuring the work of William Butler Yeats, called “In the Deep Heart’s Core,” by Joseph Sobol. She has toured with Venetia Stifler’s Chicago Dance, Inc., performing at the Ravinia Festival; The Ruth Page Foundation; Mauch Chunk Opera House, PA; and in Prague performing the solo a cappella score she designed for “Day of the Rope”, and other works. She has appeared on the Smithsonian Institution  and Kennedy Center stages.  She often collaborates as either performer or director with the Phantom  Collective and Theresa Choske of the Irish American Heritage Center. She has appeared as a narrator and singer with the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble. A mass she composed with Chicago Irish musician Kathleen Keane had its world premiere at the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann  international convention. She appears with local musical organizations, in schools, and on radio programs, including the Midnight Special on WFMT.

Kathy Cowan earned a BFA in Music/ Theatre from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Pedagogy at Northeastern Illinois University.  Ms. Cowan teaches singing and music at Northeastern Illinois University, Music at the Carruthers Center in Bronzeville,  and at The Old Town School of Folk Music, where she has founded and conducts the award-winning Old Town School’s Women’s Choir, leads a class in Irish Song and works with private voice students.

Education: MA in Voice Pedagogy, BFA in Music & Theatre.

Started at the Old Town School in January of 1989