Board of Directors
The YTV board of directors (missing a couple members!) – annual meeting 9/27/20
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 Devlin: Treasurer
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 Sustic: Executive Director
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.