The YTV mission
Vermont continues to be home for a wide range of traditional music and dance, a tapestry of people from other places, many who brought their traditions with them. Some arrived hundreds of years ago, mostly from Europe, and others more recently, from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The state has consistently inspired singers, instrumentalists and dancers, and is deservedly identified for the creativity and contributions of its artists. We also have a wealth of talented children, youth and young adults, and a variety of accessible, high quality enrichment options related to sports, theater, visual arts, and classical and jazz music. However, Young Tradition Vermont is the only organization with its primary focus on young people, traditional music and dance, and a commitment to ensure what is offered is available at low or no cost.
Our programs are deliberately designed as a continuum. Exposure and inspiration leads to the commitment and discipline needed for learning. Opportunities to learn at a high level lead to being a performer. Performing inspires others at the beginning of the cycle, and being able to perform gets you to a place where you have the chance to serve, to use what you know to bring enjoyment and resources to others.
We operate over 2 dozen programs that impact young people and their families from infancy through early adulthood. Activities are designed to address at least one and ideally several of the following parts of our mission:
- inspire young people with traditional music and dance
- ensure opportunities for young people to learn about traditional music and dance
- ensure that young people have performing opportunities using traditional music and dance
- ensure that young people have opportunities to use what has inspired them, what they have learned and their performing experience to serve others, including families with children in life-altering situations.
We have worked hard and had success in making mission components part of everything we do. A percentage of revenue from public events goes to the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with life-altering conditions. Service opportunities have included programs at the Vermont Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Memorial Service at Ira Allen Chapel at UVM.
In 2001 Tom Sustic died, at age 16, after a two-year battle (‘massacre’) with leukemia. Over the course of his family’s life, including his father Mark Sustic’s involvement as a musician, teacher and event producer, there were many connections with a wide variety of performers. In 2002 several musicians offered to do a performance as part of a series of concerts in Burlington designed to create and sustain a fund established in Tom’s memory. The Tom Sustic Fund was established from those contributions, and has continued with its support families who have children at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Vermont, the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and occasionally at other hospitals throughout North America when families from the region travel for specialized care.
We believe that inspiration leads to the commitment and discipline needed for learning. Opportunities to learn lead to being able to perform. Performing inspires others at the beginning of the cycle, and being a performer gets you to a place where you have the chance to use what you can do to bring enjoyment to and resources to others who need support.
It is an organization that strives to link initial interest, exposure and engagement with later leadership and mastery. An example….. A child gets introduced with the instrument petting zoo or at a performance. They identify an instrument they’re interested in and borrow one from the loan program. They get referred to a private teacher with some free lessons. They attend Trad Camp. They participate in Fiddleheads monthly sessions or a school-based fiddle tunes club. They perform at low-key family friendly situations with other young musicians. They then perform on their own or form a performing group with friends. They join the Touring Group as an apprentice or associate member. They return another year and become an anchor member. They start teaching private lessons, are hired as faculty at Trad Camp, record a CD, and use music and dance with Young Tradition Vermont as a component of college application, acceptance, and area of study. They return for the annual Young Tradition Weekend and reunion concerts. They become members of the Board of Directors. They start or lead another organization and collaborate with YTV as a presenter. They have their own children and bring them to the instrument petting zoo and performances……
There are some things we have come to believe based on our experience…..
- Children, youth and young adults are not one-dimensional when it comes to music and dance….. someone who attends the monthly Fiddleheads session is a youth orchestra member who plays in the jazz band at school and learns the latest pop song from YouTube…… when exposed to traditional music and dance as an option, some (not all) will choose to learn and play at concerts, festivals and dances with equal enthusiasm and interest
- Creating the stars of tomorrow isn’t the point….. the point is participation….. performing serves to increase participation and interest, not to create performers
- unless you’re Abenaki (Native American), the only major difference between New Americans today and those of 200 years ago is time of arrival….. Tibetans, Nepalese, Burmese, Somalians, Burundians, Iraqis and others have arrived in Vermont recently….. Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Italians and others arrived many more years ago
Lots of organizations offer youth-oriented programs….. what makes Young Tradition Vermont different?
- infancy to young adulthood continuum….and beyond (participants who age-out as YTV consumers become leaders e.g. board members, teachers, contractors, founders and directors of collaborating organizations)
- no staff other than a part time Executive Director
- very little in fixed assets…. no office, no facilities, no capital campaigns….. all we really own is a large collection of loaner and petting zoo instruments…. that collection is stored is with a collaborating organization
- priority on FREE or as-low-as possible access to instruments, instruction and events (performances, festivals, showcases, etc.)
- emphasis on collaboration vs. doing things on our own….. in fact, the surest way for us to not initiate a project is when we can’t find at least one collaborator….. we feel we can best serve our collaborators by being nimble enough to stand in front when we need to take the lead, to stand beside them when we can contribute and take risks equally, or to stand behind them (or stay out of their way!) while they take the lead
For more information you can write to Executive Director Mark Sustic at email@example.com or YTV, PO Box 163, Fairfax, VT 05454.
United under the umbrella of a non-profit organization with 501c3 IRS classification since 2009, a range of activities form the fabric of YTV, serving as a gateway to and navigation within the world of traditional music and dance:
Baird 5 music sessions (monthly performances on Baird 5 Pediatrics at the Vermont Children’s Hospital at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington for patients and their families)
Classes (after school, evening, weekend and summer classes in collaboration with other organizations such as the Integrated Arts Academy, Edmunds Elementary School, Burlington City Arts and Vermont Violins)
- ‘New Neighbors’ in collaboration with the Vermont Folklife Center as an approach for teachers that features music and dance from the home countries of children from New American families living in Vermont
- ‘One Sings’ in collaboration with the Integrated Arts Academy to use traditional music in kindergarten through grade 2 to ensure that children’s musicality at grade 3 prepares them for success in a strings program
Fiddleheads (monthly, year round rehearsals, workshops, and performances for beginning through advanced musicians who learn fiddle tune and related repertoire as an ensemble and perform at public events, weddings, conferences, and celebrations)
- Fiddle Tunes Clubs (residency and after school meetings of 6 to 8 weeks for young musicians learning fiddle tunes designed for dances and performances, coordinated with Fiddleheads repertoire)
Instrument Loan Program (loans of acoustic instruments linked to the Instrument Petting Zoo….. when loaner instruments on not being used, they are part of the instrument petting zoo)
Instrument Petting Zoo (installations at festivals, fairs, schools and other public events featuring several hundred instruments that have been donated or purchased for the purpose of ensuring that young folks have the chance see, hear and freely interact with acoustic instruments while supported by knowledgeable and welcoming ‘zoo keepers’)
Music for Sprouts (support of and collaboration with Chris Dorman and Bread & Butter Farm featuring music classes for families with infants and toddlers)
Performances and presentations (variety of concerts, dances and other events, almost all as collaborative presentations with other presenters such as Bread & Butter Farm, Shelburne Farms, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Higher Ground, Queen City Contras, City of Burlington, University of Vermont, UVM Lane Series, Chandler Center, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Tree Wild, Shelburne Vineyard, Vermont Folklife Center and many more.…… ocassionally streamed on line through Concert Window and/or recorded for later broadcast on cable access television and/or YouTube, some recorded and distributed on CD and/or DVD)
- Events for Tom Concerts (performances featuring young and mature artists with a focus on inspiring young people with traditional music and dance, and raising funds and awareness for families with children in life-altering situations via the Tom Sustic Fund)
- Farewell Reunion Concert (concert in late May, featuring musicians who support the organization and its efforts to support families with children being treated for life-altering conditions, held at the Grace Church in Sheldon, all proceeds donated to the Tom Sustic Fund, the largest single fund raising event for the Fund)
- Young Tradition Reunion Concerts (performances featuring a wide variety of performers with linkages to Young Tradition Vermont programs past or present)
- Young Tradition Showcase Concert (performances featuring student-teacher, parent-child and mentor-mentee combinations in early May)
- Young Tradition Showcases (performances done in collaboration with other presenters featuring young performers, including those who have won and/or been finalists at the annual contest, in a variety of locations including the New England Exposition in MA, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Vermont, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, the New World Festival in Randolph, the Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans, Church Street Marketplace, Ethan Allen Homestead, the Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge, Higher Ground in South Burlington, and many others.
- Young Tradition Vermont Concerts (performances featuring young artists with a focus on inspiring young people with traditional music and dance in a variety of locations, and creating performing opportunities for young musicians and dancers)
Public School Partnerships (school year projects with multiple components including residencies, assemblies, after school classes , curriculum development and teacher training and support at the Integrated Arts Academy, Edmunds Elementary School, Edmunds Middle School, the Sustainability Academy, J.J. Flynn Elementary School and one time projects with Camel’s Hump Middle School, Underhill Central School and others)
Scholarships (reduced or free tuition for the annual summer Tred Camp in late July and other Young Tradition Vermont and collaborating partner presentations)
Tom Sustic Fund (grants from a portion of revenue generated at Young Tradition Vermont events, administered by the Vermont Family Network in collaboration with MSWs at the UVM Medical Center and the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, to families with children with life-altering/life-threatening conditions….. supports a variety of purposes including transportation, housing, equipment and supplies)
Trad Camp (late July week of instrumental, vocal and dance classes and workshops, daily, evening and weekend public performances, introductory and master classes)
Workshops (workshops scheduled on an as-available basis featuring master artists who are visiting the area as performers for Young Tradition Vermont, the UVM Lane Series, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the Discover Jazz Festival, Higher Ground and others)
Young Tradition Touring Group (an ensemble of higher level, auditioned players, singers and dancers that perform at public events in Vermont and do tours during April spring break outside Vermont e.g. England/Scotland in 2014, Ireland in 2016 and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 2017)
- Linkages with similar organizations and young people with similar interests, including touring groups visiting Vermont (hosting and presenting events featuring groups from other parts of North America and the World e.g. Northumberland Ranters from Northeastern England, Strawberry Hill Fiddlers from the Hudson River Valley in New York, African Children’s Choir from Kenya in Africa, Jeunes Musiciens du Monde from Quebec, the Saline Fiddlers from Southeastern Michigan, Village Harmony, the Franklin County (Maine) Fiddlers, and Project Harmony International based in Central Vermont)
Young Tradition Festival (1st full weekend in May and the weekdays prior)
- Public School Assembly (Friday afternoon performance at schools
- Contest Finals (Saturday afternoon competition for singers, players and dancers)
- Baird 5 Pediatrics (performance for patients and families at the UVM Medical Center)
- Awards Reception (Saturday early evening presentation of contest awards)
- Showcase Concert (Saturday early evening performance featuring teachers and their students, parents and their children, mentors and their mentees)
Young Tradition VT currently has an Executive Director, a board of directors, and contractors who do paid work for the organization:
- Yasi Zeichner – Young Tradition Festival, Trad Camp
- Oliver Scanlon – Touring Group Artist Leader
- Maeve Fairfax (2020/2021) –Youth Commission
- DonnCherie McKenzie (until 12/31/20) – bookkeeping
- Colleen Montgomery – IRS 990 report
- Vizou / Dana Whittle – Web hosting, information architecture, design
- Colin McCaffrey – Youth Commission CD projects
- Howard Wooden – Youth Commission CD projects
- PayData – payroll and state and federal payroll taxes
- Nancy Bove
- Bill Ellis
- Aden Haji
- Sarah King
- Kristen Iemma
- Alyssa Miller
- Brian Perkins
- Pete Sutherland
- Mary Wesley
Board of Directors
Ann has been around music her whole life – classical, folk, jazz – with folk music being the music she listens to the most. Besides loving music and loving being around music and the people who play and support music, Ann really loves seeing and being around young folks learning and performing music and dance. She has loved Young Tradition Vermont since it began and has attended many events over the years that this organization has made happen, through the hard work of Mark and those who help him out. She and Mark have “known” each other by sight and from brief conversations over the years, through music and education – Ann is a retired middle school special educator and literacy specialist. She has been on the following boards: Haymarket People’s Fund (5 years), Green Mountain Fund for Popular Struggle (14 years), Outright Vermont (3 years). She is currently on the boards of Global Justice Ecology Project (15 years) and the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series (15 years).
Ava is currently a junior in South Burlington High School. She started playing the harp six years ago when she was inspired by an orchestra petting zoo that visited her elementary school. Her first experience with Young Tradition Vermont (YTV) was playing with Fiddleheads at the Carolan Festival. Since then, she has also participated annually in the Children’s Memorial Service and performed with the Touring Group for the past three years. Recently, she began to write reviews for the online concerts hosted by YTV. Outside of music, Ava is interested in learning languages, such as Korean and French. As an avid reader of multiple genres, her favorite authors are Khaled Hosseini and Ruta Sepetys. She enjoys designing houses and sewing while watching PBS. Musically, Ava has been composing and arranging with help from mentors Dominique Dodge and Maeve Gilchrist. As we start to cautiously reopen after Covid-19, she looks forward to joining my peers on stage and in the classroom.
Hannah Assefa (she, her) is an Elementary Educator who has worked with children for most of her life whether it be through private instruction in traditional fiddle or as an educator in the classroom. She grew up in Northern Vermont playing Scottish and Cape Breton style fiddle. As a young musician, Hannah performed as a part of Fiddleheads which performed around Vermont and New England. After graduating from Fiddleheads in the mid 2000s, Hannah began teaching private lessons until the birth of her daughter in 2017. Hannah also appeared on Grammy Nominated Album, Northern Seas, by Al Conti and has since performed at various venues in the Greater Burlington region. Prior to completing her degrees at Saint Michael’s College, Hannah performed at her senior recital, which was themed to tell the story of her journey as a musician. Currently, Hannah is part of the band Rowan which primarily performs around Vermont. Hannah currently teaches Kindergarten at Milton Elementary School. She holds a Master of Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University (2016) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music & Elementary Education from Saint Michael’s College (2013).
Originally from metro-Boston, Jane and her husband, Matthew, and two daughters moved to Middlebury in 2004 after living abroad for a few years in Wales. Trained as an electrical engineer, Jane worked in telecommunications for many years. She earned an MBA and has worked on data projects for the University of Wales in Bangor and Middlebury College. Currently, Jane supports donor services for the Vermont Community Foundation. She also serves on the boards of the Town Hall Theater, Middlebury Studio School, and Addison County YoungLife. For Jane, settling in Vermont has been “a dream come true”. She enjoys serving with others to help our communities be nurturing, beautiful places. She is especially grateful for the unique opportunities that Young Traditions Vermont provided for her youngest daughter, Merry, who spent 4 years with her Celtic harp on the YTV Touring Group. The mentoring, encouragement, and incredible experiences with all of the YTV artists, volunteers, and students has been transformational.
Matt Buckley: Vice President
Matt is an attorney, practicing exclusively in the Family Division of the Vermont Superior Court. He also increasingly serves as a mediator to assist litigants in resolving Family Division disputes.
Matt received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan in 1977, and his J.D. from the University of Miami in 1980. Since moving to Vermont in 1982, Matt has been continuously and deeply involved in traditional music. He plays Scottish and Irish traditional music on the fiddle, as well as Scottish bellows pipes and Highland Pipes. He also has played traditional Southern Mountain banjo styles since 1970. In 1988, Matt, along with Scotland’s Hamish Moore, founded the Vermont Bellowspipe School. From 1989 until 2011, Matt and his wife, Carolyn King, produced and hosted the School each summer, attracting students from North America and beyond. Although Matt and Carolyn retired from their responsibilities after 22 years, the School continues, now in its 31st year, in Huntington. In various capacities through the years, Matt volunteered in assisting the Champlain Valley Festival, and for a time served on the CVF Board of Directors. Matt was a founding member of, and competed with, Catamount Pipe Band. He was Pipe Major of Catamount Grade V, and a member of the pipe corps of Catamount Grade III, retiring from the competition pipe band scene in 2012. He served on the Catamount Pipe Band Board of Directors for a number of years.
Matt and Carolyn live in Richmond. They hike, enjoy their dogs, play traditional music and read. Carolyn, newly retired from teaching, pursues her Feldenkrais movement therapy practice.
Gary was born and raised in New Haven county, Connecticut. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Drama from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the University of Oregon. He has published poems in several leading literary journals across the country and has been a regular participant in the Vermont Studio Center reading series. He is the Director Emeritis at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, where he lives with his wife and 3 children, 2 of which has been involved in a variety of YTV programs.
Nowa is an acomplished violinist and mandolinist. Born in North Carolina, he now lives in Shelburne with his wife Maria Delia, and plays original and jazz and Latin music and works as a luthier at his shop, Randolin Instruments on College Street in Burlington. From early 1980s to 2011 he has maintained and ran a repair business in Burlington with his friends and colleagues at Burlington Guitar and Amp. His own luthierie shop has grown to a full music store and repair center. Nowa also taught music ensemble at the Renaissance School in Shelburne. Nowa is also an ordained priest in the Zen Buddhist Tradition. He studied Zen under his teacher Sunyana Graef Sensei and has been a practicing Buddhist for over 20 years. ‘Nowa’ means, ‘energetic harmony and/or the capacity for peace.’ He travels with his teacher and Sangha to Canada and Costa Rica, as well as the USA, and been on several pilgrimages to Japan and China.
Danielle is passionate about all forms of traditional dance and music, especially Celtic rooted forms. She dances competitively in Scottish Highland, and is an active participant in step dancing and social dance in Canada. In 2015, she built The Ceilidh Barn at her home in Sheldon, Vermont, where she hosts house concerts and workshops, and sets up a personal studio space. A trained pastry chef, she owns and operates a small commercial bakery, BakeAria (named for her love of baking and classical singing). Danielle also works at the Barre Opera House and with FLi Artists, an agency focused in world and folk music.
Geoff is an award-winning journalist with a 32-year-career mostly in newspapers, last as managing editor of The Burlington Free Press. In 2006, he founded Young Writers Project, a nonprofit that has provided 120,000 youths in schools, workshops and online with support, training and affirmation. YWP has published best work of 21,000+ students from around the world in external publications, in YWP’s monthly digital magazine, The Voice, and on stage (including one memorable partnership with VYT). Gevalt developed all of YWP’s web sites includinghttps://youngwritersproject.org — a phenomenon of civility where youths have gained voice while posting 400,000+ poems, stories and comments. Gevalt developed YWP’s school-based programs — workshops and residencies for students and yearlong Master’s classes for teachers.
In 2017, Gevalt decided to step down as director, transitioned the new director in 2018 and stepped entirely away in June 2019. He is now pursuing his own projects in writing and photography. While not a musician, Gevalt’s life has been steeped in appreciation of music: His uncle was a world-renowned classical pianist, all three of his children played violin and his oldest daughter became a professional performer of traditional music and benefited greatly from YTV support.
Kathleen has a background in education, ethnomusicology, collaborative ethnography, and public humanities administration. As a PhD student in Ethnomusicology at Brown University, Kathleen co-led an audio and video documentary project with Mbyá-Guarani musicians in southern Brazil. Kathleen has years of experience as an educator, having taught in both K-12 and higher education. She has additional years of experience teaching early childhood music and cello in private music studios. Kathleen received a BA in Hispanic Studies and a BM in Cello Performance from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, and a MA in Ethnomusicology at Brown University in Providence, RI. She lives in Chittenden County, is the Executive Director at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury and will finishing her PhD at Brown in 2019.
Mary Grace O’Neil
Mary Grace is a flute player who comes from a long line of traditional Irish musicians. She began playing classical music before transitioning to traditional Irish music. She regularly plays in sessions throughout New England. She traveled to Ireland in 2018 to play at the Mor Glor Awards in Ennis to honor her great uncle Chris Droney. In addition to her music Mary Grace is studying nursing at The University of Vermont and can often be found on the music scene in Burlington.
Laurel grew up in the world of folk music. Her mother “untrained” her classically trained voice to sing folk music when she was a young child. Her mother and father met Pete Seeger who, in turn, introduced them to the Bob and Evelyn Beers the year of the first Fox Hollow Festival. She and her husband attended every year as volunteers. Her parents ran a coffeehouse in Poughkeepsie, NY for about 5 years until their divorce. Her father went on to marry Evelyn Beers after several years as the chairman of the board of Fox Hollow Festival. Laurel coordinated the craft area the last several years of the festival.
During her teen years Laurel coordinated some of the river-front festivals on the Hudson River to help raise visibility to the problems of the water condition and to help fund Pete Seeger’s vision of the Hudson River Sloop, the Clearwater. Her husband, Arthur, and Laurel were later volunteers/vendors at the Clearwater festival after Toshi Seeger asked Arthur to make Pete backpack guitar and banjo cases. Arthur was the first person to design these in the soft luggage industry.
After a few years where she focused on her career and family, she found her way back to the folk family and community and volunteered for the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, eventually as Treasurer. For 11 years this fall, she has been the volunteer coordinator for the music series at the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library in Jericho/Underhill.
Her career is as a consultant in Health Care business operations and software. She travels a significant amount for her job and has made her home here in Jericho, VT for over 20 years. Arthur passed away in 2018 but she is very lucky to have both of her daughters, Annalise and Marikje, and their husbands (and her delightful granddaughter) nearby.
Mark is a consultant, educator and musician. He has worked with the Turrell Fund, the Vermont Community Foundation, Save the Children, the Permanent Fund, Building Bright Futures and others, and has taught at the University of Vermont, Castleton University and the University of Michigan. He has visited, taught and consulted with early learning and development programs in China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, and Bangladesh. He lives in Fletcher with his wife Deborah Travis, who is the school nurse at the Westford Elementary School, and a watercolor artist who exhibits at a variety of galleries. Their only child Thomas died in 2001, 2 years after being diagnosed with leukemia. After several years working as a musician in Canada and the Midwest, he has been involved in working with young children and their families as a profession for over 45 years, first in Michigan and then in Vermont. He has been involved in organizing and presenting cultural events, founding and directing several non-profit arts organizations in Vermont, including the Champlain Valley Festival and Young Tradition Vermont, and continues to work with children and youth interested in learning and performing traditional music and dance. He consults with and advises a wide variety of arts, education, professional and advocacy organizations.
With early training in viola which led him to a stint with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, fiddler, mandolinist and tunesmith Oliver Scanlon was introduced to his mentor Pete Sutherland 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 Young Tradition Vermont’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 scores 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. In 2014 Oliver completed his highschool senior Project, a solo CD called “The Pond Jam” Oliver now teaches private fiddle and mandolin lessons, does live sound reenforcement and plays full time with Pete’s Posse.
Duncan Yandell: Secretary
Duncan (David Duncan Yandell) is an avid fiddler, violinist, and music producer from Williston, Vermont. He started the Suzuki method with renowned local teacher Carolyn Bever in second grade, and was encouraged to explore traditional music as well. He discovered Cape Breton fiddle music when his father took him to a Natalie MacMaster performance, and was so captivated by the energy and fluidity of the style that he became determined to learn it.
Duncan played in various levels of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association’s student orchestras and frequently participated in fiddle sessions, camps, workshops and master-classes, numerous workshops and lessons with fiddler and composer legend Jerry Holland, who was a major influence on Duncan’s playing style. In high school, Duncan formed the band ‘Pale Fire’ with friends Dylan Hudson (guitar) and Hannah Shaw (bass). They placed first at the 2007 YTV contest, and soon after were performing regularly around Chittenden County. The group recorded an album, ‘Life Can Change So Fast’, of original and traditional tunes with rock and Americana influences.
Duncan attended Cornell University for Biology, graduating Magna cum Laude in 2013 with a concentration in neurobiology and animal behavior. In 2016, Duncan enrolled in Berklee College of Music for the Master of Music in Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration) program, where he studied under master American bluegrass fiddler Casey Driessen and Tribal Tech bassist Gary Willis. Since graduating, Duncan has been involved in a variety of music-related projects in Vermont and elsewhere. In the fall 2018, Duncan began playing music with Ethan Tischler under the name Duncan & Stokes, since performing widely around the Burlington area. This summer, Duncan engineered a 5-song folk EP titled ‘Oak Hill Session’ with Ethan Tischler and Norwegian singer-songwriter Eli Gauden, which will be released this fall.
Yasi Zeichner: President
Yasi hails from Northfield, VT, where she grew up exploring the woods around her rural home, growing vegetables, riding horses, creating imaginary worlds with her siblings, and, of course, playing music. She is a fiddler, singer, and sean nós dancer, and performs traditional Irish and Appalachian music around VT with her sibling band The Zeichner Trio. Young Tradition VT played a crucial role in the official formation of the trio, getting them their first gig in 2012 at the Tunbridge History Expo. In 2017, Yasi graduated from Vermont Technical College with degrees in Equine Studies and Business Management. In addition to playing and teaching music, Yasi manages YTV’s Young Tradition Festival, YTV Trad Camp, and the Instrument Petting Zoo; she has coordinated volunteers for the New World Festival in Randolph, VT for several years and participates on the festival programming committee; she’s on the board of the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture in Montpelier, VT and manages their evening class program; and she works in outdoor education for kids. When not playing at her local Irish session, she can be found in the woods at the family residence, feeding chickadees out of her hand.
Selma is originally from Prijedor, Bosnia & Hercegovina. She immigrated to the USA in when she was 7 years old in 1993. She have always loved music and dancing and therefore was one of the original/founding members of the Bosnian Lillie’s Bosnian folk dancing group. She was a dancer in the group all through high school. Her mama was the costume designer and seamstress for the group. She went to college in Boston where she picked up Latin and ballroom dancing as a hobby. After college she moved back to Vermont and tried to restart the folk dancing but had poor success. Currently she is an inpatient pharmacist at the University of Vermont Medical Center. President of The Vermont Society of Health Pharmacists group. Lastly, she is mama of a very fun 16 month old, Melisa. Melisa and Selma are always seeking out musical adventures whether it’s ukulele Joe at Skinny pancake or Joe at Bread and Butter Farm or pop up little local concerts. She is honored to be part of the board and help the group achieve its goals.