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In 2009, with a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and led by musician Pete Sutherland, YWP helped students at Benson Village School and Swanton School create original historical ballads and then perform those ballads to a public audience.
Many thanks to the sponsors, Pete, the schools and to the students who worked so hard to create their musical stories. And a special thanks to community residents who shared stories, photos and information with the students and YWP as part of the information gathering to learn more about the towns and their connection with Lake Champlain.
Benson Village School first performed its ballad at school at a special ceremony that included the person on whom this ballad is based: Marion Munger. She was "tickled" she said and totally, completely utterly surprised. Here's an earlier version sung by Pete Sutherland.
Ballad of Marion Munger
Here is the first performance of kids at Swanton School who not only created the ballad but also made some drawings. Their ballad came from the initial research on the fact that Swanton once produced thousands of Thanksgiving turkeys each year that were shipped all over the country. The kids began reflecting on what the town looks like from the point of view of all the birds. The Swanton students have gone on to perform this several times, including at Burlington City Hall.
Birds' Eye View