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Young Tradition Vermont’s Trad Camp 2020 will be held at the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School in Shelburne, Vermont July 27-31. Cost of Trad Camp is $275 for early registration, $300 after May 1st. Registration will open the first week of February. Core instructors there for the entire week will include Pete Sutherland, Brian Perkins, Oliver Scanlon, Annika Amstutz, Sam Bartlett, and Ada Schenk. Special guests and part week instructors will include Romy Munkres, Anita MacDonald, Jeh Kulu, and more!
Trad Camp is a concentrated opportunity to be inspired by, learn about and perform tunes, songs, and dances in a variety of traditional styles. Age range is 7 or 8 through early teens. Campers participate in several group sessions each day with a variety of core staff and guest instructors. Sessions include beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Instructors are among the best and most respected musicians and teachers in the region, and a few from other parts of the world. The camp meets from 9am and 3pm each day and opportunities for late afternoon/evening and post-camp showcases and performances, including a Friday afternoon showcase featuring instructors, students, and guests for friends, families, neighbors and anyone else who wants to attend.
You can also sign up for an e-mail mailing list for Trad Camp by sending a request to Trad Camp Manager Yasi Zeichner at email@example.com or Young Tradition Vermont Executive Director Mark Sustic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An example of the daily schedule from 2019:
Trad Camp is great fun, but it’s important to keep playing/singing/dancing the rest of the year, and there are some great opportunities in our area!
Many of our instructors offer lessons throughout the year. Young Tradition Vermont maintains a directory of teachers of traditional music. You can use the information listed there to get in touch with a new instructor.
There are many contradances throughout the state, and anyone is welcome to join in! Mad Robin Callers and Queen City Contras in the Burlington area are frequented by some of the same organizers and instructors we see at Trad Camp. You can use this link to find a dance near you.
In 2019 we will be joined by some amazing instructors, some returning and some new, some local, and some from further afield, some for the entire week, and some for parts of one or more days.
Here is some information about the Trad Camp core instructor role:
Core instructors teach at camp all week, and are usually folks that have come year after year and have settled into filling particular roles that balance what the others bring. We usually go to them first year after year, then fill in as needed if someone needs to rotate out, which hasn’t happened much. These core instructors don’t just show up on Monday and leave after the last event on Friday during Trad Camp week….. they also help recruit campers and help with the evening events during Trad Camp week.
The folks who teach at Trad Camp teach privately or otherwise, and most are local or easy to connect with electronically so that campers have options to go to them after camp if interested in taking lessons to get deeper into the music or dance. They usually teach a variety of instruments, from a variety of genres, from beginner to intermediate, and can teach some kind of movement/dance associated with the music; or can teach singing (including harmony), and can combine instrumental, movement/dance and singing into something that works for groups during camp.
We also rely heavily on folks who are teaching to be ambassadors and recruiters for the camp, encouraging potential campers from the students they teach, interact with, and spend time with. We have gravitated toward having folks who are linked with other parts of what YTV does, and thus cross-connect Trad Camp with other programs – Fiddleheads, Touring Group, Young Tradition Festival (including the contest and the mentor-student showcase), instrument petting zoo, instrument loan program, etc. We also try to work in “legacy campers” as instructors: older teens and young adults who have been attending Trad Camp for years, and have had experience as youth leaders/assistants at camp, or as members in the Touring Group, etc., and are now able and interested in teaching. This is part of an attempt to create more teachers, leaders, managers from those who have had the experience of being involved in Trad Camp over previous years.
2019 Core Staff
Pete Sutherland is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Known for his fiery fiddle tunes and his wonderful teaching, Pete has been on staff at dance and music camps from coast to coast. He is a veteran of many touring and recording groups including Metamora, Rhythm in Shoes, The Woodshed Allstars (among others) and is a founding member of The Clayfoot Strutters. His latest ensemble is the multi-generational trio Pete’s Posse. Pete has been both teacher and mentor to many young musicians, and we’re delighted that he will teach a variety of fiddle classes and do some singing with us at Trad Camp this summer.
Brian Perkins is a performing musician and music educator. As the beneficiary of a strong public school music education program he is determined to return the favor by helping youth and adults express themselves and their shared culture though music. He teaches traditional New England and American folk song and accompaniment on a variety of stringed instruments. He also specializes in traditional New England dance tune performance on mandolin and trumpet. This summer at Trad Camp he’ll teach the beginner ukulele class in addition to sharing accompaniment techniques with all kinds of string players and singing and jamming with everyone!
Oliver Scanlon had early training in viola which led him to a stint with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and as a fiddler, mandolinist and tunesmith he was introduced to his mentor Pete and the parallel universe of fiddle music at the age of nine. His enthusiasm led him to seek out further learning and performing opportunities through Mark Sustic’s “Fiddleheads” program, and to begin attending music camps where he has studied various styles with Alan Jabbour, Kimberley Fraser, Eric Favreau and other master fiddlers. In 2008, Oliver and few talented middle school friends formed the group which became The Irregulars, a six piece outfit that has played scored of local dances and festivals. In 2013 he both co-founded Pete’s Posse and became the youngest member of Pete’s long running dance band The Clayfoot Strutters. He has a solo CD ‘The Pond Jam’ and is featured as a musician, singer and composer on CDs by Pete’s Posse.
Jane Oxnard is a fiddler, singer and dancer from Northumberland in England. She has been a member of several trad ensembles there including the Sage Gatesheads Folkestra and the Northumbrian Ranters, made up of talented young traditional musicians from across Northumberland. In 2012, Jane and her sister Ailsa traveled to Burlington with the Northumbrian Ranters, and 2 years later, the Ranters hosted the Young Tradition Touring Group in England. She returned to Vermont 3 years ago to teach at Trad Camp and perform at Deb Flanders’ annual summer concert in East Calais. She has had the opportunity to meet and perform with musicians from around the world, and grew up in a strong Scottish tradition of the border counties, which heavily influences her playing, singing and dancing.
Sarah Hotchkiss is a Vermont fiddler and banjo player who has been teaching in Northern Vermont for over two decades. Much of this time she spent teaching strings in private and public schools, and directing the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra as well as leading numerous camps, workshops and events for fiddlers and folk musicians throughout the state. She now devotes herself to her Woodbury Strings Studio and is a regular on the faculty at Northeast Heritage Music Camp. Sarah has special training working with young children: her gentle and patient approach has made her an ideal instructor for beginning and intermediate students. Sarah will teach beginner fiddle at Trad Camp and will help our youngest campers and newest fiddlers find joy in their instruments.
Jeremiah McLane is a composer, accordionist, pianist and educator with a diverse musical background including blues, jazz, Celtic, Québécois, French and other roots influenced music. He is the founder and director of the Floating Bridge Music School and has served on the faculties of the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, the Summit School for Traditional Music in Montpelier, and at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, NH. He also teaches regularly at summer music programs throughout the United States including Ashokan, Centrum’s American Festival of Fiddle Tunes, Swananoah, Maine Fiddle Camp, Acadia Trad Festival, Lark in the Morning, John C. Campbell Folk School, Pinewoods, Bay Area CDSS Camps, and many others. In 2016, Montpelier Times-Argus music critic Art Edelstein named Jeremiah musician of the year, citing his contributions in teaching, recording and performing is his various configurations. Since 1990 Jeremiah has released over thirty-five recordings, includingThe Wind Among the Reeds with bagpiper Timothy Cummings, which won the Montpelier’s Times-Argus Vermont album of the year award for 2016.
Anna Butcher is a longtime camper and youth leader at Trad Camp, and we’re excited to welcome her back to camp this year as an instructor! Anna is a fiddler and singer just out of high school from Stamford, Vermont. She has attended every Trad Camp since it first began and has been involved with the YTV community for over eight years. Anna has participated in the YTV Touring Group for both the Cape Breton and Scotland tours. Her style of music has been heavily influenced by fellow instructors Pete Sutherland and Oliver Scanlon.
2019 Guest Performers/Instructors
Village Harmony (Monday guest) is an umbrella organization for various singing camps and activities. A group of teens from a touring summer camp group, led by Heidi Wilson, Avery Book, and Gideon Crevoshay, will visit Trad Camp 2019 to share repertoire which will include thrilling harmony-singing traditions from around the world: traditional and contemporary American shape note pieces; Georgian, Corsican and Sardinian traditional songs; social movement songs; and some of Heidi’s original pieces.
For more information on the visiting group, visit: http://northernharmony.pair.com/camps/teen-camp-2-2018/
Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington (Tuesday guests) are known across North America as teachers, and when pressed, performers of Irish traditional music.Founders of the Vermont School of Irish Traditional Music, this couple has helped to create a vibrant Vermont Irish music scene where tunes are played in the older traditional styles. Over the years, and partly as as a result of Benedict’s work as a maker of uilleann pipes, their home in the hills of East Montpelier has welcomed hundreds of Irish musicians of all ages, with many a tune played around the kitchen table.
In their spare time they tend the wood stove in the winter, grow vegetables in the summer, and herd cats throughout the year.
Joanne Garton (Wednesday guest) fuels her music with her love of dance, mixing her pervasive passion for Scottish culture with the drive and rhythms of the New England dance floor. Ten musical years in Montreal and two in Scotland provided ample influence and inspiration. Now a resident of Montpelier, Vermont, Joanne plays in sessions, teaches music and dance to kids and adults, performs on stage with The Turning Stile, and of course, steps out on the dance floor. When not playing the fiddle, or even while playing the fiddle, Joanne works as a geologist, graduate student, and mother.
Moira Smiley (Thursday guest) is a Singer / Composer who creates and performs new work for voices. A musical polyglot, and vocal shape-shifter, her voice – and composing – are heard on feature films, BBC & PBS television programs, NPR, and on more than 60 albums. She accompanies herself with banjo, accordion, piano and percussive movement, and when she’s not leading her own group, moira smiley & VOCO, Moira has toured with Indie artist tUnE-yArDs, Irish super-group, Solas, The Lomax Project and Billy Childs’ “Laura Nyro Re-Imagined”. She’s also toured with Paul Hillier’s Theater of Voices and KITKA. Recent solo performances include TED, Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’, the London Proms Festival, features on BBC Radio3, and ABC Australia’s Books & Artsprograms. She is a well-known choral composer (recent commissions included for Los Angeles Master Chorale) and arranger, with millions of singers around the world singing her works. In 2018, she released a solo album and choral songbook called ‘Unzip The Horizon’.
Jeh Kulu (Friday guest) is a talented ensemble that offers exciting, high-energy performances that give a taste of the vibrant culture. Through music and dance, people of all ages and abilities can experience a taste of West African culture. Dance and music are part of daily life there, used to celebrate birth, death, marriage, the harvest and other rites of passage. In Jeh Kulu’s performances, they seek to re-create this community experience and foster insight into a different and fascinating culture. Following the African tradition of participation, Jeh Kulu welcomes audiences to join them in dance, music, and song.
Christine Bellec (guest throughout week) was educated and received prizes in flute- playing, musical training, harmony and teaching at the Conservatory and at the University of Paris. As a musician and teacher for twenty years, she discovered the wooden transverse flute in 1990 and met Jean-Michel Veillon, Jean-Luc Thomas, Stéphane Morvan, Davy Maguire, Harry Bradley, Timmy McCarthy, Catherine Perrier, Charles Quimbert, Alan Pierre and Jean-Luc Le Moign, musicians, singers and dancers from Brittany and Ireland. Through the influence of traditional and early music (in France, Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Quebec, Bulgaria, India and Japan), she transcribed these repertoires on her wooden transverse flute, mixing improvisation and creation. She then developed new instrumental techniques to produce the best effect in terms of musical phrasing and pulse. Her travels in Europe and North America, specifically Quebec and recently the United States, have led her to conduct workshops and give concerts, mostly in Brittany, and at the same time play in training programmes and festivals. Being naturally attached to her culture and because of the correlation between singing, dancing and instrumental music, she emphasizes her desire to share and pass on her skills.
Bill Ellis (morning workshop guest) is Associate Professor of American music at Saint Michael’s College, and a YTV board member. Born in Lynchburg, VA., he is the son of banjo composer Tony Ellis and the godson of bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe. An acoustic blues musician and writer by profession, Ellis holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Memphis and a Master of Music degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. He also spent nine years as the pop music critic for the Memphis daily paper, the Commercial Appeal. Among his recordings are Conqueroo, picked by Acoustic Guitar magazine as one of 2003’s best albums, and the Jim Dickinson-produced God’s Tattoos, winner of Best International Blues Recording by a Solo Artist at the 2007 Bluestar Awards in Australia. In 2004, a House of Blues Radio Hour special on “New Voices of the Blues” spotlighted Bill, and he has toured extensively including gigs with his father at the Kennedy Center, U.S. State Department tours of Cuba and Belarus, and the New Yorker Festival with actor Steve Martin. In addition, he co-produced the 2005 Handy-nominated album, Big Joe Jumps Again!, by late Cincinnati barrelhouse piano master Big Joe Duskin. Among Bill’s writing honors are a 2002 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for print media and a 2004 first place Arts & Entertainment win in the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, the oldest and best-known feature writing accolade for American newspapers. An avid world traveler, Bill lived through much of the 1990s in Japan. He is a member of the Memphis chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and a voting member of the Grammys.
Here is a video of the 2018 Trad Camp crankie, performed end-of-week showcase in 2018. The song was “Blow Your Horn Hunter” (also known as “The Jovial Hunter”), also from the singing of Margaret MacArthur.
This information should give you some general ideas that may help with preparing for the week. If you have questions not answered here, please ask! Email email@example.com.
Trad Camp is an attempt to provide an affordable opportunity for children and youth to learn about playing, singing and dancing in traditional styles from top notch instructors, with a concentration of teachers who can be available locally for follow up instruction after Trad Camp is over.
Trad Camp is designed to supplement, not duplicate, similar and related programs in the area. What sets Trad Camp apart is its traditional music and dance focus, beginner to advanced levels, affordable cost, exclusive focus on children and youth, youth and young adult involvement as planners and coordinators, range of teachers and learning options, Chittenden County-based, day camp vs. residential, no meals or overnights, late afternoon/evening opportunities, and learning and performance opportunities for campers throughout the calendar year.
Camp includes several different instrument classes for beginners, intermediate, and more advanced players. Other sessions are designed for singers and dancers. We expect tune players to sit in on singing and dancing session and there are times on the schedule when EVERYONE will be expected to dance or sing.
Young Tradition Vermont has held Trad Camp at the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School building in recent years (we were at the elementary school building for a couple of years prior to that). We are grateful for and excited by the opportunity to once again partner with the school and use its beautiful spaces and fill it with trad music and dance! While Trad Camp is not a Waldorf program, we acknowledge what this space is designed and used for most of the year. A few students who attend Waldorf also participate at Trad Camp, and some campers have enrolled in Waldorf schools after going to Trad Camp. Here is some information about what goes on during the school year.
At the Lake Champlain Waldorf School (LCWS), students experience a classical education that awakens their gifts, focuses on their well-being, and helps them discover their place in the world—and how they will make a difference in it. The rich, inter-disciplinary curriculum integrates demanding academics and hands-on learning with the arts, movement, music, and the outdoors. The distinctiveness of Waldorf education lies in how the children are taught, not just what they are taught. Enriching the mind as well as the heart and will, Waldorf teachers intentionally create an environment in which students learn how to trust and work with each other, master self-discipline and independent thought, and discover their capacities for compassion and responsibility. As students progress through the grades, they gain an increasingly complex and nuanced understanding of literature, history, the arts, math, science, geography and foreign languages. Equally important is their growing ability for innovative thinking, resilience, collaboration and the ability to re-imagine the world. This is the beauty of a Waldorf education.
Information about the school and its approach will be available throughout Trad Camp if anyone is interested in getting more details, or you can visit www.facebook.com/LCWaldorfSchool/, or www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb7pjXcixu0.
Trad Camp is an opportunity for LCWS and YTV to promote several mutual goals:
122 Bostwick Road in Shelburne, on Route 7 south of Shelburne, near the entrance for Shelburne Museum….. turn on Bostwick Road, headed west, toward Lake Champlain. The school is the first building on the right after you turn off Route 7, headed west and down the hill. It used to be the Vermont Morgan Horse Farm and Museum.
In addition, we expect instructors to help out as Trad Camp ‘ambassadors’ (i.e. recruiting participants, distributing flyers, forwarding e-mails, etc.) and prefer instructors who are willing to co-teach.
The building is open for registration/drop off by 8:30am each day. Camp programming runs from 9am-3pm each day, and we try to clear the building as soon after 3pm as possible.
We start the day with an opening session and orientation and some all-camp activities. The morning includes several short sessions that run concurrently (instrument lessons, singing sessions, dance classes). A lunch break and some time for socializing is followed by concerts and master classes by our special guests. The afternoon is mostly filled by rehearsal for a series of small ensembles (campers meet with one group all week). We close the day with another all-camp activity. A full schedule with instructor names and activities will be available on line and posted during camp week.
As soon as we’re done at 3pm on Friday, everyone will participate in the end-of-week potluck, showcase concert and dance. Besides food and performances by campers and instructors, we’ll welcome some special guests. Families, friends and neighbors are encouraged to attend.
There is plenty of space in the parking lot. Please don’t park on the roadside or anywhere to would block access to the building or other cars.
Just show up on the first day, anytime after 8:30am, ready to get started at 9am. We’ll have you check in when you arrive, and make sure we’ve got all the right information. We’ll need written permission for any ‘off campus’ activities (e.g. leaving the building) and any pick ups that are different than the person doing drop off. Drivers should be prepared to leave us an emergency number at drop off that we can use if needed.
All campers are asked to check in after 8:30am, before 9am.
Everyone is asked to meet their rides by 3pm at the main entrance to the building, to use the main entrance to arrive and leave for the day, and to make sure they are checked in and out by a camp organizer when arriving and before leaving the building.
We’ll start with the showcase as soon after 3pm. This is open to family, friends, neighbors and anyone else who wants to come. It will feature performances by instructors from the camp, and as many campers as are willing, playing things they have learned during the week. Potluck items should be brought at 3pm. We will not have any cooking facilities available at the school. Before the end of the showcase, we will do a participatory dance or two with as many people as possible participating.
We’ll have utensils, napkins, cups, paper plates. Please bring something to share with a half dozen or more of others, including something to serve from and any utensils that would be needed for serving. Don’t forget to clean up and take what’s left at the end.
No earlier than 8:30am, no later than 9am.
Whatever you need for snacks and lunch. An instrument! Something to record with, as you wish. A clock or watch if that is helpful to you.
If you need a fiddle but don’t have one, you can rent one for the week from the Burlington Violin Shop for Trad Camp. Contact them directly before the week starts to make arrangements for that 802-862-0349.
You may, but we encourage you to leave it off if at all possible. Cell phone use should be limited to using it as a clock to keep track of time, recording lessons, and/or calling parents, rides, etc. if there are emergencies or other complications. Turn off the ringer during camp hours.
Keep it and other valuables with you at all times. It’s a fairly safe environment, but we want to make sure no one loses anything by misplacing it or having it taken by someone by mistake. Please don’t use cell phones during camp for sending or responding to text and phone messages or checking/sending e-mail messages during sessions and the lunch break presentations.
We expect to have as many as 60 campers. At any time there will be at least 5 instructors, and a few guests, plus at least 3 adults associated with Young Tradition Vermont. There will be more people participating the post-camp showcase, potluck and dance on Friday. Lunch performances are public events, so there may be some folks visiting camp just for those.
If you know of anyone who might be interested, invite them to come and try it out. Assuming we’re aren’t at capacity, we can make a session or 2 available to anyone interested in trying it…… all they have to do is show up at the start of each day and make a request.
Younger campers are welcome to have a parent along as an observer, but the camp is not open to adults as campers/participants. See the schedule for public events that you can invite anyone to. Events not listed as free will have some sort of admission/donation expectation.
Wear comfortable clothing, and keep the weather in mind–it can be quite hot and humid in July! It’s best to have flat-bottomed shoes for dancing in, although some campers prefer to go barefoot.
Teen volunteers at Trad Camp attend classes as role models for younger campers, assist with teaching small groups as appropriate, complete a number of logistical tasks (making nametags, filling water jugs, handing out lunches, cleaning up at the end of the day) and generally provide support to instructors throughout the day. We expect them to perform for the campers and families at least once over the course of the week, and invite them to use their special talents throughout the week. We ensure that they have access to our talented instructors, and that they have the opportunity to attend master classes with guest instructors if they wish.
Teen volunteers should be:
How we choose our teen volunteers:
After determining the number of teens we need for the program, we begin by contacting those who have worked in years past. Once we have commitments from any returning volunteers, we fill the remaining slots with campers we noticed would make excellent volunteers, or those who contact us directly asking after the opportunity. We weigh each of the criteria above in our selection, and also the particular needs of the program that year (ie, sometimes we have enough fiddlers and are really seeking a singer to support a particular class).
Please bring what you want and need for the morning and afternoon breaks, and for lunch. There will be access to drinking water, but bring a bottle from home if you can.
Yes. Several of us will be taking photos and videos throughout the week. None of these will be used for anything other than promoting future Trad Camps without additional permission.
Mark Sustic 802-233-5293 or 802-849-6968 (YTV President)
Yasi Zeichner 802-485-9242 (Trad Camp Manager)
No, though a majority will. There is an option for half-day morning sessions for younger campers.
A majority of the tune players are fiddlers, but there are always several who play other instruments: guitar, cello, and flute, etc. Instruments can be provided to loan for the entire week, but please contact Trad Camp Manager Yasi Zeichner to check on availability. Those without instruments can try several out during the week in our sampler classes, and/or concentrate on singing and/or dancing.
Instructors are responsible for creating their own session agendas. We seek to offer variety: instructors, genres, styles, playing levels, etc. The sessions may end up building on one another due to the small nature of the camp, but except for some dedicated beginner classes, there is no official progression from one session into the next.
We hope that through this broad approach campers will get a sense of who is available for teaching (after Trad Camp is over) and who they might be interested in following up with for more instruction. Instructors will likely bring business cards or flyers (and campers should ask for them) so that campers can follow up another time if they are interested in talking more about lessons.
We’ll have a few tunes and songs that the whole camp learns, and then instructors will choose the rest of the material taught in their classes.
Most tunes at Trad Camp are taught by ear. Some of the instructors (not all) may bring printed materials they will distribute, but often the written music is just a reference for how the tune is played. If instructors bring printed sheet music for any tunes they are teaching, please make an extra copy for Mark Sustic, and he’ll work on making it available to others, most likely online after Trad Camp is over.
We’re going to try to do this and make videos and/or mp3s available after Trad Camp. Instructors will be asked by one of the organizers to record the material taught at some point, if it’s not done during the session.
In addition to dancing and some of the lunch breaks, there will be specific times and activities for physical activity, including outdoors if the weather is agreeable. There are breaks between the sessions, and there is limited down time during the lunch break. Instructors are asked to be mindful of the need and desirability of having campers move around some during the sessions, to not sit and concentrate for the entire block.
Campers who already know how to play chords on their instruments will be encouraged to join the “accompaniment” class. Our afternoon bands are also a great opportunity to work on accompanying singing or dancing, with some help from an instructor. During the sessions where tunes are taught, campers who play guitar or piano will learn the same tunes as everyone else.
During camp, all campers will participate in creating a crankie, and will learn a song to sing or play for the crankie. A crankie is an old storytelling art form. It’s a long illustrated scroll that is wound onto two spools which are loaded into a box which has a viewing screen. The scroll is hand-cranked while the story is told (or the song is sung). It can be accompanied by a narrative, song or tune.
Here is an example of a crankie by the duo Anna and Elizabeth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLSW9iZiyKs
For further information and history on crankies, visit this website: http://www.thecrankiefactory.com