Festival on the Green 2022: Vermont Folklife Center Traditional Arts Showcase

In 2022 the Vermont Folklife Center is celebrating 30 years of innovation in tradition in their Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (VTAAP). In the words of program founder Greg Sharrow, “the making of art is an irrepressible force that is true of everyone!”  VTAAP works to create opportunities for traditional arts in Vermont communities to grow and thrive, helping to shape identity and support both individual and community wellbeing.

An apprenticeship is a face-to-face learning opportunity where a master artist passes on their skills to one or more apprentices through hands-on work. During the past 30 years, Vermont Folklife Center has supported over 350 apprenticeships representing everything from the arts of native Abenaki and of English, French, Polish and Irish immigrants, to those of Lao, Somali Bantu, Congolese, Bosnian, Tibetan and Bhutanese Nepali refugee communities.

Anniversary festivities are taking place throughout 2022 including at the 2022 Festival on the Green! The July 12th showcase highlights three virtuosic artists who have been involved with VTAAP over the years and have made major efforts to pass on their artistic mastery to the next generation:

  • Migmar Tsering – Migmar plays traditional Tibetan music on the dranyen, a long-necked, seven-stringed instrument. Born in Tibet, brought up in India, and a Vermonter since 2011, Tsering is a singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and Tibetan dance instructor. He is the founder of the Rolyang Lobling school (in English, “music class”) where he has worked with dozens of apprentices to make Tibetan music and dance happen in Vermont.
  • Pete Sutherland – Pete is a living legend of the traditional music and dance scene in Vermont, and is nationally recognized as a musician, composer, visual artist, writer, and storyteller. Within the apprenticeship program he has worked with multiple students to share his knowledge of Franco-American fiddling, Vermont song and fiddle repertoire, and most recently, contra dance piano accompaniment with Emmett Stowell of Waitsfield, VT who will join him on the FOG stage.
  • Shyam Nepali – Hailing from the centuries old Gandharba musical tradition of Nepal, Shyam has enjoyed an almost 30 year long career bringing the sounds of the Nepali Sarangi (described as “the wooden bird that can fly”) to audiences around the world. Shyam has filled a very unique and important role in the Sarangi tradition of Nepal, expanding on the work of his Grandfather, Magar Gaine, and his father, Ram Sharan Nepali, legendary Sarangi players who broke new ground on the world of Sarangi playing, with their technical and artistic innovations to the instrument. Since 2018 Shyam has been working with apprentices within the Bhutanese-Nepali community in Burlington, planting the seeds of a new generation of Vermont sarangi players.

​Recorded 7/12/22.

For more info, visit https://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/

Producer: MCTV