Trent Bruner

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THE NEWS FROM BRUNER'S BROOD-APRIL 19, 2020 Print E-mail
Hello everyone!

It has been a while since I wrote an article for my artist page on Facebook and www.trentbruner.com, but like others around the world, the Corona virus has meant a many changes in music activities, work and family life for the moment. Here is an overview since my September 2019 article.

After the 2019 Canadian summer fiddle tour and family visits, work continued as normal as an organist with the Norwegian Lutheran Church and as a conductor and piano accompanist for amateur choirs in the Bergen area through the fall. When I was not practicing or conducting, I was composing, and it has turned out to be a varied amount of material as ideas have come to me, regardless of how busy or relaxed life has been.

Firstly, I have written three country gospel songs that will eventually go in a third gospel music book in the future. More on these songs will come when this “long term” project comes to completion, whenever that will be.

Secondly, one new piano piece was written and debuted in December 2019 for a new pastor serving the Norwegian Lutheran Church on the island of Osterøy. His name is Jørgen Grimelid, a former Jeager fighter pilot in the Norwegian Air Force, health administrator and psychologist. He began in lay ministry with the Bergen hospitals and became more active in this field in Bergen over time. As a man in his 60s, he took seminary courses through the Tromsø Theological Seminary and became an ordained Lutheran minister last year. His ordination celebration on December 14th and 15th in Bergen was the first time I had attended such an occasion and he invited me to play piano for this celebration. I was honoured to do so and composed my latest piano piece inspired by Isaiah 6:8, where Isaiah said to The Lord, “Here am I. Send me!” The piece is called “The Man of God” (på norsk, “Guds mann”) and the sheet music is available for sale through my web shop under piano solos. This piece will be recorded for video posting on YouTube and my Facebook artist page in the coming days. Jørgen has been working at Osterøy since the fall of 2019 and has been a valuable asset for the parish staff, especially with the Corona virus situation, for which the staff have been truly thankful.

But my largest composing project to date has been what was not originally planned. Since releasing my latest fiddle tune book All of Mine - Volume 1 in July 2019, I have kept checking my composing archive for new fiddle melodies and ideas I could keep or revise since September 2019. I got caught up on new ideas I had recorded over the summer on my iPhone over time, and as notation work progressed, new fiddle melodies came into my head and I notated them as quickly as possible. What was originally planned as catch up work became a new collection of 60 new fiddle tunes to release in one new fiddle music book this summer. More information will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Over the Christmas holidays, my wife caught a severe flu and was unable to go to work for two months, which meant cancellations and delays on many things. In fact, our daughters had a better Christmas with family and friends than Hilde and I did when she was hospitalized over the holidays. In the midst of this, I also lost an uncle in January 2020, the late Alf Healey (age 78) of Saskatoon due to pneumonia. I returned to Saskatchewan for the funeral and shared time with family as my short travel schedule allowed. Thankfully, I am getting caught up now, but family needed to come first.

For all of us, the Corona virus outbreak has changed work plans and family activities. My wife is teaching nursing classes online from home. Our daughters are presently taking school and music lessons online from home, with their fiddle group and orchestra rehearsals suspended by the Norwegian government until the fall. My choir activities are also on forced suspension since March 12th with suspensions for all fine arts activities extended from March 26th to April 30th and now up to June 15th. This has meant that Norway’s choral, band and orchestral seasons have been stopped.

With my organist position, all regular church services in Norway are cancelled until after June 15th. Funerals, baptisms and weddings are now being held in private as small gatherings and are not being publicly announced. Our church staff has recorded six mini church services on video for Easter postings on Facebook and more will be recorded in the coming weeks. We have also held drive-in church services over Easter in a format approved by the Osterøy municipal medical officer and the local detachment of the Norwegian Police Service.

Norwegian government plans as of this article are to resume all fine arts activities in September after I return from the Pembroke Fiddle and Step Dance Contest should all return to normal sooner than later. I just received word today that the 2020 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition in Winnipeg, Manitoba has been cancelled and the Winnipeg committee will host the contest on August 26-27, 2022 instead. A 2020 CGM online activity is now in the works to replace it with more details forthcoming. How my 2020 Canadian summer schedule holds up or develops as of today is anybody’s guess right now.

In closing, this article is a part of my catch up work because of the Corona virus outbreak. One other project happening behind the scenes is the building of a new trentbruner.com website to be posted in the coming weeks. My present site has been up since 2003, but it’s time for an updated site and a fresh look. Work continues behind the scenes on this project.

On behalf of my family in Norway and Canada, stay safe, be physically distant to stay healthy, wash your hands, clean yourself and every object more often than you think, and talk/write to/entertain yourselves and each other as best you can. Always support live musicians as best as you can by remembering artists who can’t travel at this time to perform, record or teach as would usually happen and remember all the items at the webshop (sheet music, music books in PDF, instructional materials, CDs, etc.) are available for sale. We don’t know when this virus will end, but remember that we will come out of this together. See you all somewhere down the musical trail.

Musically yours, Trent