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Young Tradition Touring Group application for 2018/2019

The on-line application form is available here

Getting this application form prepared and the timelines set up has been a challenge. I’ve been inundated with various other projects, though that’s not unique to me. Everything I turn to turns into 10 things, and each of those things turn into 10 more things, and on and on. I’m sure it’s a similar situation for you. Even so, I need get this information and application out for the Touring Group for the coming year. I’ve spent a lot of time since we returned from the last trip (Scotland) sweeping up from the last year and leaning into the next one. Now its time to let us know if you’re interested enough to complete the application.

The April trip is scheduled to happen sometime between April 19 and April 28, 2019. The destination will be metropolitan New York/New Jersey. A bunch of exciting possibilities are in the works, including discussions/meetings with Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jazz House Kids, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the International Jazz Festival, the Stephen Colbert Show, Mick Moloney, Tony Demarco, Newark School for the Arts, etc. These may not all work out, and there will likely be others added, and some may or may not involve performances by the Touring Group, but so far everyone has been helpful, supportive, excited. Some challenges/considerations include the fact that most public and private schools have the same week off for spring break, and that Easter Sunday is April 21, 2019. These and other variables remain to be sorted out.

The trip will involve interactions with urban organizations, including some orientations toward jazz and other non-trad music, at least not in the concentrated way they have been for the Touring Group on most recent trips. The request for interest resulted in 36 responses, roughly 1/2 of those from Touring Group members from past years. A primary goal this year is keeping the per person cost to as low as possible. Choosing to do a New York/New Jersey trip is linked to some funding source opportunities, which weren’t as possible for some other options we were investigating (e.g. Quebec, Louisiana, North Carolina, mid-west).

So, the application for the 2018/2019 Touring Group is ready (see the link above), and now is a good time to plan taking care of audition requirements. Please complete one application per person (not siblings or friends on the same application). See below for audition information. Adults who are interested will have a separate application to complete. If you are an adult and think you are going to be interested, send a note to mark.sustic@gmail.com.

Rehearsal dates are listed below (as of 7/13/18). Artist Leaders will include Pete Sutherland and Jeremiah McLane. Coming up with these dates has been and may continue to be a challenge and moving target…… so hard to get busy people and places lined up with this project as major priority, dodging conflicts, accommodating individual requests, etc….. be aware that one or more of these might change. Watch for updates. Except where noted otherwise, rehearsal location is Elley Long Music Center in Colchester www.vyo.org. Except where noted otherwise, rehearsals are scheduled to start at 1pm (after lunch) and end by 5pm (before dinner)…..

  • 9/29/18 1pm-5pm Flynn Center lobby in Burlington
  • 10/20/18 1pm-5pm Monteverdi Music School in Montpelier
  • 12/1/18 1pm-5pm Elley Long Music Center in Colchester
  • 12/26/18 through 12/28/18 (2 overnights, arrive 12 noon on 12/26, leave by 12 noon on 12/28, at Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington www.rockpointvt.org/conference_center
  • 1/26/19 1pm to 5pm Monteverdi Music School in Montpelier (performance at Spice on Snow Festival in Montpelier that evening)
  • 3/9/18 1pm to 5pm Seven Star Center in Sharon (performance at the same location that evening)
  • 4/6/19 1pm to 5pm Elley Long (performance at the same location that evening)

Organizational goals for Young Tradition Vermont, which have been and need to continue to be addressed by the Touring Group …..

  • inspire young people with traditional music and dance
  • ensure learning opportunities for those who are inspired
  • ensure performing opportunities for those who are inspired and have learned
  • use our inspiration, what we have learned and our performing ability to serve others, including families with children in life-threatening/life-altering situations

Goals specific to the Touring Group…..

  • perform for and visit schools and other organizations in Vermont, the Northeast and other parts of the world
  • spend time with and learn from master musicians and dancers in Vermont, the Northeast and other parts of the world
  • share traditional music and dance styles from Vermont and the Northeast with young people who may not be familiar with it
  • establish relationships with young people and organizations with similar interests from other parts of the world and host visits by them in Vermont and the Northeast

Reference information

  • Touring Group information on the Young Tradition Vermont web site: https://youngtraditionvermont.org/2015/10/young-tradition-vermont-touring-group/
  • Touring Group’s Facebook page, which includes lots of photos and chatter about the group and among group members: https://www.facebook.com/Young-Tradition-Touring-Group-1476616185976090/
  • Video that was used to promote the Scotland trip in April 2018, though gives an overview of what the project is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoqZAOtYz_o&t=20s
  • Video of the group performing in Burlington, Vermont prior to the Ireland trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3TFa0mh8aw
  • Video of the group playing in Middlebury, Vermont in March 2018, prior to the Scotland trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cZUCd_Svw8
  • Google Drive photo file from Scotland trip: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1jyeewVClaChSdZCKeaeVuMgobxCktEwq

Audition information

  • When will auditions be held?: July through August 2018…… the touring group season begins late September 2018 and ends in early May 2019
  • Where?: auditions can be recorded on video, posted on YouTube (private posting is fine), and sent via e-mail to mark.sustic@gmail.com not later than 9/1/18 (earlier is better!)….. audition will proceed until at least 20 and not more than 25 slots are filled….. its in your best interest to submit earlier than later, in case we fill up prior to the deadline
  • Who can audition?: we are looking for singers, dancers and instrumentalists who will not be younger than 13 or older than 19 in April 2018….. those who are 12 or younger or 20 or older may audition, but the priority is thouse who are teens as of late April 2019
  • Who needs to audition?: anyone who has not been part of the Touring Group previously…. past members of the Touring Group can waive the audition….. if they choose not to audition, they have an essay obligation focusing on how they have or will use their abilities and previous experience in service to others, individuals, groups and/or organizations….. contact Mark Sustic mark.sustic@gmail.com for more specific details about the essay.
  • What should an audition include?: 1. a performance including a single instrumental, vocal and/or dance presentation done solo (or with a single accompanist), lasting for at least 60 seconds, as if performing for an audience….. a copy from an actual performance is acceptable….. members of the group will be expected to participate instrumentally as well as singers and dancers 2. at least one additional video sample of material not included in the performance video (e.g. if playing an instrument is featured in the 60-second video, the 2nd video should be a a different instrument, singing or dancing sample)
  • Can an audition be done in person?: Yes. Contact mark.sustic@gmail.com to schedule
  • How much does it cost?: There is no fee to audition….. there is also no membership fee to be in the Touring Group….. meals and accommodations costs for the late December retreat (not to exceed $250 per person) and meals, accommodations and transportation costs for the tour in late April (not to exceed $1,000 per person)
  • How will audition results be shared?: You will notified via e-mail not later than mid-September
  • Other questions? contact mark.sustic@gmail.com

Audition and Selection Criteria

Here is a list of the considerations we use in selecting group members

  • age?: do they fit the age range criteria (13 before late April, less than 20 before late April)?; are they older or younger compared to others who have applied?; if they are older, will this be the last opportunity to participate in the Touring Group?; if they are younger, will they be likely interested in participating in the future?
  • skill level?: is the skill level high enough (upper intermediate or advanced) to handle the anticipated repertoire?; do they learn only by ear, or only by sheet music, or can they handle a combination?; was their audition a fair sampling of skills?
  • primary instrument?: was skill demonstrated with more than one instrument, one style of music?; was there a combination of ability representing instrumental playing, dancing and/or singing?; do they play an instrument that would be a good match for other instruments in the group?
  • teaching experience?: is there indication that they can respond well to individual, small group and large group teaching/learning?; for older teens, do they have experience teaching or mentoring younger teens as a friend, mentor, instructor?
  • travel experience?: have they participated in other group travel experiences, music or otherwise?; have they spent up to a week away from their home and family?; have they participated on previous Touring Group tours?
  • follow-through on sign-up and audition expectations?: have they followed through on interest and audition deadlines?; did they need reminders and/or assistance from others to complete the expectations?; did they complete the interest survey?; did they complete the audition process?
  • leadership?: for older teens, do they have experience being a role model/leader for younger teens?; have they demonstrated leadership skills in other groups, programs, school?; have they demonstrated the ability to contribute to a group identify vs. only focusing on their own needs?; have they demonstrated the ability to seek out opportunities to challenge themselves and learn new things, new approaches, new skills?
  • contributions as a member of other performance groups?: have they been part of other performance groups, orchestras, bands, choirs, dance troupes, etc.?; did they follow through on expectations for those groups?; have they made a commitment to the rehearsal dates?; have they made a commitment to the overseas trip?; would they continue to participate in the group even if the overseas trip didn’t happen?
  • interest in traditional music and dance?: have they demonstrated an interest in learning about and advancing their knowledge and skills about playing, singing and/or dancing in a range of traditional styles?
  • availability for/participation in/contributions to hosting other touring groups visiting Vermont?: have they been/would they be enthusiastic and resourceful hosts when we have the responsibility of hosting youth groups as our quests, including those from the places the Touring Group visits?