Trent Bruner

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Hello everyone!

We trust and hope that everyone in your family is having a summer season of holiday, rest and relaxation. It has been a while since I have been able to write a news update on my musical activities, but here is an update that is released for Facebook and

Since the Pembroke Fiddle and Step Dance Contest last year, I began a permanent position as an organist with the Norwegian Lutheran Church on the island of Osterøy where I live with my wife and family. My permanent work percentage is at 70% but I also received a 30% additional temporary percentage until July 31, 2018, and that has been extended again until July 31, 2019.  My work has been playing for services, funerals, weddings and seniors’ functions where the church has been asked to provide a presence or participate in. Some of my highlights over this period have been as follows:

Because I grew up without an organ in church when I grew up in Canwood, Saskatchewan, it was piano that I played or you brought your own instrument. Since February 2018, I have been receiving organ lessons from retired organist Kirsten Ødgaard, who has played organ in many Lutheran churches in the Bergen area. I am very thankful to have an excellent teacher like him who has helped increase my organ proficiency over the past few months. I know I can hear a difference every time I practice with an organ touch and have better knowledge on how to handle registers on the organ. I have learned more of the 899 hymns in the Norwegian hymnal. I am thankful to receive this support from the local diocese so I can diversify my musical abilities and use my talents in The Lord’s service.

One duty of an organist in the Norwegian Lutheran Church is to organize concerts in the churches in the local diocese where that organist is employed. In October 2017, Patti Kusturok from Manitoba came and not only played one church service in Hosanger, but gave a concert there that night that drew two standing ovations from the audience, and drew interest via Facebook back in Canada. It was a delight to have a familiar face from my home country provide a top rate concert on the other side of the ocean and a delight to play it.

One new activity that has been incorporated into the church life of Osterøy is an Easter musical that is an initiative of one of the new pastors serving on the island of Osterøy, Helle Maria Wolstad.  Pastor Wolstad comes originally from Oslo and has served as a Norwegian Methodist minister before switching to the Norwegian Lutheran Church last year. This project happened for the first time on Easter Monday, April 2nd in Hosanger Lutheran Church and involved a project choir, a vocal trio with Osterøy singers Bjørn-Tore Hendriksen, Siri Vevle Larvik, and Annveig Solberg, guitarist Christoffer Hendriksen, and both me and my church musical colleague Baard Eikaas playing and conducting. This Easter musical provides an overview of the Easter Story from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday in scripture and song.

Before I came back to Canada earlier this month, I was asked to play a special regional service at Hamre Lutheran Church that was a part of a larger regional cultural celebration along the Norwegian west coast. There were four boats that docked with passengers coming to church. The Hjellvik Brass Band played as the guests came off the boats. I played in the meeting house so as to avoid the rain as the congregation came and left the church and played in the service when Cantor Baard Eikaas worked with Janne and Viebeke Kleiven (trumpet and trombone) playing alongside. Over 300 people attended this service with four ministers working the service. There was a time where coming to church on the boat was normal. It was a different day for those in attendance in revisiting a former mode of transportation, but a day that all in attendance gave thanks for.

The next article will feature the John Arcand fiddle presentation and interview at the Canwood Branch of the Wapiti Regional Library August 7, 2018. Until next time, see you somewhere down the musical trail!

Musically yours, Trent