Mary Sherhart

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

New hair style

Proud mom of three terrific children

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

First president Sevdah North America

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. 

CDs and DVDs of sevdah in English & Bosnian

Now, a chance for non-Bosnian English speakers to listen to sevdah songs and understand the lyrics as a native does.  Arranged by the late great Omer Pobric.

Bosnian CD

CD of sevdalinke in Bosnian
Composer/arranger:  Omer Pobric
English CD

CD of sevdalinke in English
Composer/arranger:  Omer Pobric
Bosnian DVD

DVD of video spots
Camera & montage Esmer Pita
English DVD

DVD of video spots
Camera & montage Esmer Pita
Included on the Bosnian CD & DVD:
Spoken introduction by Omer Pobric (on CD only)
Nije Bosna casa vode
Oj golube moj golube
Ah moj Alja
Ja zagrizoh sareniku jabuku
Srdo moja ne srdi se na me
Tamburalo momce uz tamburu
Stade se cviljece rosom kititi
Cija je ono djevojka
Ja prosetah carsijom
Pokraj puta rodila jabuka
Sinoc ja i moja kona
Moja dilbere, kud se seces

Included in the English CD & DVD:                  
Bosnia fills my heart
When I traveled to Bembasa
Oh dove, my dove
Little red fez
Whose is that girl?
Oh, my Aljo!
I took a bite of a colorful apple
Oh girl, my trinket!
My darling, where are you going?
Dear mother, send me to get water
Don't stamp your wooden clogs
Oh, my blossom
Bosnia is not a glass of water
Look at me, Anatolian girl
By the path grew an apple
Last night my neighbor and I
My angry one

The late Omer Pobric, God rest his soul, was a visionary.  He wanted to share the beauty of sevdah lyrics with the world by recording them in English translation.  He especially wanted children born in the Bosnian Disapora who might not speak Bosnian well to better appreciate their cultural heritage by making sevdah more accessible to them in English.  In 2007, I had the privilege of returning to the 'Sevdah Institute Omer Pobric' in Mulici to help on this important project.  In only one month, we recorded two CDs and filmed two DVDs of video spots that match the CDs.  For the first time, these are now available!  Bringing this material to the world is my way to thank Mr. Pobric for his cultural contribution during his distinquished career and help preserve his legacy.

Sevdah North America, Inc.
Evening of Sevday 2009 picture
The 5th annual North American Days of Sevdah
Seattle, Dec 17, 2011. 

In October 2011, I formed the Bulgarian Voices in Seattle women's choir.  It currently has 22 women from Bulgaria ages twenty-four to seventy-six.  Singing is important, but equally so is connecting with Bulgarian roots.  We all look forward to our weekly Wednesday rehearsal that is a real island in our busy lives.  We sing, laugh, and work together to organize wonderful singing events for the community.  Here's a photo from the first Stari Gradski Sing-Along held May 6, 2012.


Here is a growing list of choirs made up mostly of non-East European singers who simply love and devote themselves to learning, perfecting and performing the region's gorgeous traditional songs. This list does not include the many groups found within ethnic communities throughout North America.

AE (duo of Aurelia Shrenker & Eva Salina Primack) in New York
Balkan Babes in Victoria, BC, CANADA
Born to Drone in Mountain View, CA
Bulgarian Voices in Seattle sponsored by the Bulgarian Cultural and Heritage Center of Seattle
Darena in Salt Lake City
Divi Zheni in Boston
Dunava in Seattle
Gradina in Sebastopol, CA
Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble in San Francisco
Mila in Minneapolis
Mzekala in Tuscon, AZ
Nevenka in Los Angeles
Orfeia in Maryland and DC area
Planina in Denver
Podrushki in Grass Valley, CA
Rusalka in Ashland, OR
Slaveya in Washington DC
Svirka in Albuquerque, NM
Svitanyha in Philadelphia
Yale Slavic Chorus in Boston
Yasna Voices in Brooklyn, NY

From the first two choirs in which I sang in the 1970's, the Koleda Ensemble choir and Ruzice Folk Choir, over the years I have had the great joy to go on to direct a number of Balkan choirs including the Sedyanka Balkan Women's Choir, Vecherinka Balkan Women's Choir, the Vela Luka Croatian Ensemble, the New Land Choir and the glorious choir which sang for the magical Narodil se Mladi Kralj productions.  I feel a debt of gratitude to all those fine singers who gave me the incredible benefit of standing before their glorious music!

Folklife 2011

A magical moment in time in concert at the 2011 Northwest Folklife Festival with (from left to right) the woman who started the entire Balkan singing scene Ethel Raim, Aurelia Shrenker, Catherine Foster, Eva Salina Primack, Ruth Hunter and yours truly.

My Blog
Read about the many experiences and kindesses during my latest visit to Bosnia and Croatia.  I love to write and hope to find time to keep this blog up.

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

P. O. Box 99667
Seattle, WA 98139-0667

An artist biography is at and  resume at .