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23 November 2019

YTV Youth Commission 2019/2020

Young Tradition Vermont (YTV) announces its first Youth Commission. The YTV Youth Commission Ensemble has been rehearsing this fall and their first performance is scheduled for December 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Fletcher Free Library, in Burlington, VT as part of the annual HIGHLIGHT! FESTIVAL. Additional performances by the Ensemble are being scheduled through summer of 2020, including the annual Spice on Snow Festival in Montpelier on January 25, 2020 starting at 7pm and the annual Young Tradition Weekend concert at City Hall in Burlington on May 2, 2020 starting at 6pm.

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 will be selected for the YTV Youth 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, which is presented at performances, festivals and other events.

The 2019/2020 commissioned artist is Romy Munkres from Cornwall, Vermont, a senior at Middlebury Union High School. Romy has been the winner of the Young Tradition Vermont annual contest and is the 2019/2020 Youth Artist Leader for the YTV Touring Group, which will be touring in Japan in April 2020.

Romy is in charge of scheduling and organizing rehearsals and working with Mark Sustic YTV Executive Director) about challenges and opportunities for the project. The Youth Commission designed as a next-step opportunity for young artists who have been involved with the Touring Group, the annual contest and who shows promise as a composer/arranger and ensemble leader.

Romy has recruited a group that includes her brother Ben Munkres and friends Abi Sandy, Hadley Stockwell and Fern O’Donnell. Romy has toured with the YTV Touring Group and her family band throughout Vermont and with The Touring group in Ireland, Cape Breton, Scotland, Japan, and metro New York/New Jersey. She and the ensemble will be representing Young Tradition Vermont as ambassadors and will be available for projects and performance opportunities through the summer of 2020.

Ben Munkres is a 15-year-old piano 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.

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 O’Donnell is a fifteen 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 spending three months this spring 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!

For more information about the Youth Commission contact