Trent Bruner

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It's Great to be Back in Pembroke! - September 5, 2016 Print E-mail
Hello everyone!

After a short time back in Norway to prepare for work as a choir conductor and other musical activities, another edition of the 2016 Pembroke Fiddle and Step Dance Contest is now complete. As I write this update before flying back to Norway to rejoin my family, I was out at Riverside Park for concerts, jam sessions and fellowship, 150 kms northwest of Ottawa, Ontario during the Labour Day Weekend.

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On the Thursday night before the contest started, I was able to perform a solo concert with jam session hosts Paul and Melika Lemelin of Val Therese, Ontario, which allowed me to share some selections from my “Piano by Request” album along with some old time favourites and some of my own piano compositions. Thank you to Paul and Melika for allowing me the chance to share some solo piano for all the patrons who stopped by to listen and for good mandolin work by Paul during the concert.

I was unable to be at the 2015 contest, but it was a delight to return in 2016 and serve as one of the two house accompanists along with fellow accompanist Guylaine Gagner (right) of Valleyfield, Quebec. Guylaine is a talented pianist whom I have worked with at the Pembroke contest before. She comes from a fiddling family that has been active in Central Canadian music scene for many years and brings much experience in fiddle music to the fiddle scene having played as a house accompanist in both Ontario and Quebec fiddle contests. She is truly a pro’s pro in the world of fiddle accompaniment and it is always a delight to work alongside her. 

For the step dancing contest, Chad Wolfe, Rhodina Turner and Tiffany Salt (nee Fewster) were the judges, while Brian Hebert, Louis Schryer and Mark Sullivan were the fiddle contest judges for the weekend. Robbie Dagenais was once again the house fiddler for the step dancers. Congratulations to Greg Henry (the championship class winning fiddler), Coleen Jennish (the championship class step dancer), and to all the other contestants in all classes who made this contest the annual success that it is.

The final results can be found via Valley Heritage Radio’s web link The contest was streamed live via (CJHR-FM 98.7, Renfrew, Ontario) for the second straight year, and I was able to have a live interview during a playing break in the contest with radio hosts Dennis Harrington and Jason Marshall. Thanks to all with the radio station for promoting fiddle music as this live broadcast attracted many listeners online.

In other news, I have been able to update my performance calendar for the coming months as well as update the web links so you can find our more about some of my musical friends from near and far. Thanks to Fonce Delorey and Mrs. Jennish for their help with the pictures. Until next time, see you down the musical trail!

Musically yours, Trent