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14 October 2019

YTV Youth Commission

The Youth Commission is one of the 30 programs managed by Young Tradition Vermont.  Each year a current or previous member of the Young Tradition Touring Group is selected for the YTV commission for the year (July through the following June). The person selected is charged with creating a small ensemble (4-6 members) and a program of original compositions/arrangements with mentors/master artists of their choosing, to be presented at performances, festivals and other public or online events.

The commissioned artist selected each year is expected to have participated at the Young Tradition Vermont annual contest, is a current or previous artist leader for the Touring Group, and has performed in Vermont as well with at least one or more of Touring Group trips (e.g. England, Ireland, Cape Breton, Scotland, Japan, metro New York/New Jersey).

The commissioned artist is in charge of scheduling and organizing rehearsals and working with supervision from the YTV Executive Director about progress, challenges, opportunities, etc.  The Youth Commission is designed as a next-step opportunity for young artists who have been involved with the Touring Group for one or more years and who shows promise as a composer/arranger/band leader.

A major emphasis for the commission is creating an ensemble that is prepared to represent the YTV organization as ambassadors, and availability for projects and performing opportunities, including those the full Touring Group can’t manage because of its larger size.

Here’s a video from the 2019/2020 group’s first rehearsal at the Burlington Violin Shop on 10/5/19:

More information about the Youth Commission from

2020/2021 Youth Commission

Young Tradition Vermont continues its Youth Commission program for a second year. The Youth Commision is a group of high school-aged musicians who play and sing in traditional styles.  They start rehearsals in September, and do performances starting in January and continuing into the summer, including the annual Young Tradition Festival in Burlington in early May.

The Youth Commision is one of 30 programs managed by Young Tradition Vermont. Each year, a member of the Young Tradition Touring Group is selected to lead the Youth Commission for the year (September through the following June). The person selected is charged with creating a small ensemble (four to five members) and a program of original compositions and arrangements with mentors/master artists of their choosing. The program created is then presented at performances, festivals, and other events, both in person when possible and on line.

The commissioned artist for 2020/2021 is Maeve Fairfax from Burlington Vermont, a junior at Burlington High School. She has been in the Touring Group for three years and has been a finalist in the Young Tradition Vermont annual contest with the Burlingtones, the school’s acapella vocal group. As the commissioned artist, Maeve schedules and organizes rehearsals, and works with YTV’s Executive Director Mark Sustic to manage challenges and opportunities for the group. The Youth Commission is designed as a next step for musicians who have been in Touring Group and other programs who show promise as composers/arrangers and ensemble leaders. Members of the ensemble include Hadley Stockwell of Charlotte, Ben Munkres of Cornwall, Anya Hardy-Mittell of Middlebury and Eme Zelis of Belmont.

Maeve has performed throughout Vermont, and in Scotland and New York/New Jersey with the Touring Group. She and the Youth Commission ensemble represents Young Tradition Vermont as ambassadors and are available for projects and performances starting in January 2021 and continuing into the summer.

For more information about the Young Tradition Youth Commission contact More information about Young Tradition Vermont is at or on facebook at

2019/2020 Youth Commission

Individual member bios for the 2019/2020 Youth Commission…..

Romy Munkres lives in Cornwall, Vermont and is 17 years old. She plays violin, viola, flute, whistle, bagpipes and is currently struggling with the tenor banjo. She plays in the band Red Dog Riley, as well as Honey in the Hive and plays consistently with her brother Ben. Romy also loves to dance and knows a little bit of many styles which she does not hesitate to pull out when she does not have an instrument in hand.

Fern Tamagini-O’Donnell is a 15 year old from Wareham, Massachusetts who plays fiddle, sings, and dances. She is part of the Young Tradition Vermont Touring Group, and plays with the Cape Cod band Celtic Roots. She is an enthusiastic performer, specializing in Irish music and sean nos dance.

Abi Sandy is 18 years old and a resident of Jericho, Vermont. She sings and plays guitar, mandolin, bodhran, and piano. In addition to playing with the Youth Commission, she sings with Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont and is currently spending three months traveling France, Italy, Ireland, and Scotland to collect tunes. If Abi could own any musical instrument, she would choose a cittern!

Hadley Stockwell is 14 years old. She plays fiddle and trumpet, and a member of both the Young Tradition Vermont Touring Group and the CVU Jazz Ensemble. In addition to the variety of styles she already plays, she currently learning bluegrass!

Ben Munkres Ben Munkres is a 15-year-old piano, accordion and french horn player who lives in Cornwall, Vermont. He plays piano in the Young Tradition Touring Group and plays french horn in the Vermont Youth Orchestra, as well as performing with his sister and his family across the state on a variety of other instruments. In his very limited free time, he enjoys scheming about building a hurdy gurdy.