This January, local musician, dedicated mother of two, and long-time Montpelier community member Katie Trautz became the new events and communications coordinator at Montpelier Alive.
With a background in organizing community events in Montpelier such as the “Spice on Snow Winter Music Festival,” concerts for the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture, and her own performances, Trautz is taking to the role well. “I am still learning about the position and how best to support the executive director, but in general I help organize and coordinate Montpelier Alive events and assist with publicity efforts,” she said, noting that she enjoys playing a role in both the creative planning process and the logistical application of each event. “I feel as though Dan Groberg [the current executive director] and I are working as a team to further Montpelier Alive’s mission.”
Trautz said that this part-time position is perfect for her current stage of motherhood, allowing her to spend a significant amount of time with her two young children while also providing a much-needed change of pace after having spent the past eleven months as a stay-at-home mom.
In addition to being a mother and settling into her new role at Montpelier Alive, Trautz enjoys playing, performing, and teaching music. “I began playing music at a young age, and began performing on steel pan drums with the band Panashé when I was 14 years old. I joined Village Harmony in high school and continued to take music classes through Bates, where I went to college. Following school, I moved back to Vermont and began performing with a friend of mine, Julia Wayne,” said Trautz. Wayne and Trautz, a duo now called, “Mayfly,” play old-time, Appalachian, and Americana music.
As Trautz formed numerous bands, catering to her evolving interests, she made a career out of teaching private lessons and performing in shows, and additionally co-founded the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture in 2007. Most recently, she got involved with Cajun music and has enjoyed sharing Cajun songs and traditions with the community. She is a founder and the current director of the “Spice on Snow” old-time and Cajun music festival, presented by the Summit School. “The Summit School has helped support the traditional music community in Central Vermont through its many programs and events. I am glad to still serve on the board of directors and continue my involvement as an instructor and Spice on Snow festival organizer,” said Trautz.
With a growing family, a new job, and a pandemic to navigate, Trautz plays and performs less these days, but has not stopped writing songs and sharing her love for music with her children. “I hope to continue performing post-pandemic,” she says.
In the meantime, Trautz plans to broaden her songwriting repertoire, play fiddle tunes outdoors with friends in the summer, and help strengthen the Montpelier community through her new position at Montpelier Alive.