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2019/2020 Touring Group

The LAST time the 2019/2020 Touring Group will be together, at least in a rehearsal or ‘happy hour’ format, happened on 6/20/20 via Zoom. There will be a final concert in early August before the project actually ends, and we’ve still got the New World Festival on 9/6/20 on the calendar.

Emily couldn’t be with  us, but her comments summed up what many said: Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing great and I’m bummed I’m not on this call.  I miss you all, the music, the atmosphere, the camaraderie, and a lot of other things so thank you for the great time we had before the virus-that-shall-not-be-named, it was a blast. Enjoy your summers! Cheers!

We did a recording studio tour with Oliver, who is in the studio in Charlotte. Also in the studio with Oliver was Pete Sutherland and Tristan Henderson, and Colin McCaffrey, all working on a Pete’s Posse recording.

We did a little bit of ‘see and hear from everyone individually.  Romy and Ben had the polskas video ready that they’d been working on, and we took a look at that.

The final project is going to be an online concert in August.  We’ve worked on picking a concert date, and came up evening of August 12 or 13 as best. Specific date TBA.  It could be that not everyone will be available to be online live for the concert, but EVERYONE will contribute in the coming weeks to 2 group performance videos that will be featured that night.

The concert will include the videos that Romy/Ben and Mark Z have prepared already, the Errogie compilation that Mark Z prepared, and live comments/intros from group members and adult leaders ….. including assignments for doing the usual concert intro scripts for the tunes previously assigned.

2 videos are to be made between now and then.  These will include ‘Shotgun Angel’, ‘Third Lake’ (waltz), and/or ‘Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow’ (not including the dancing part). We will use only 2 of those 3, which means everyone will practice them and be ready to record them as soon as what’s called ‘a click track’ arrives by e-mail – a recording with an audible metronome keeping the time. Very detailed instructions to come from Oliver and Paul, including details for camera position (vertical/horizontal), neutral backgrounds, recording 2xs from different camera positions, audio levels, lighting, etc.

We also talked about 2020/2021 Touring Group plans.  Between June and mid-August is when we recruit and audition group members – the first ‘gate’ for the Touring Group project each year. The goal is to know by August 15 if we have enough members who are good enough players, singers, dancers who are ready to make the commitment for the year. If not, the project doesn’t go further, and we won’t have a group for 2020/2021. If you know of others who might be interested, now is the time to let them know, encourage them to apply and audition.

Our plans are of course contingent on the status of the virus. If there is not a vaccine and if physical distancing, stay-in-place or border crossing restrictions are still in place in mid/late December, we will plan on alternatives to any gatherings for rehearsals, concerts and travel into the new year.

We’re planning on line rehearsals between September and December, and will decide in December on plans into the new year and the tour in April. No trip payments would be due until December at the earliest, although we’ll probably need to start with fundraising in October or November.

Details about applying and auditioning are on the YTV web site here: https://youngtraditionvermont.org/2020/06/touring-group-application-opens/.  Community service might be more of challenge this year, but we’ve got some things planned for YTV in general that might work.

Béatrix Méthé joined us to play/teach a couple of tunes. She grew up near Joliette in Quebec, about an hour north of Montreal. Some in the group know her parents Claude and Dana. In fact, Claude is the composer of a tune the Touring Group has done in the past.

She grew up surrounded by great musicians and trad music, and almost didn’t have any choice but to play music, sing, compose, perform. She’s a great musician, very rooted in trad music, and is part of the Rosier, which was known previously as Les Poules a Colin, a group that won the YT Contest about 10 years ago.