Trent Bruner

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THE NEWS FROM BRUNER’S BROOD–DECEMBER 30, 2020: CORONA UPDATE IN FALL/WINTER 2020 Print E-mail

Hello everyone!

I hope that all of you have had the best Christmas celebration possible during the corona pandemic. It has been a different Christmas than usual, but thankfully, we have stayed safe from the corona virus as per this article. We realize there are others who have it harder than us as COVID-19 has taken its toll in some ways while opening doors in others’ lives. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all who are having a difficult time at present. For those of you who are able, please contact anyone you know in your family/social network to give them an ear to hear, an eye to see, a mind to understand and a heart to respond. Here is the latest musical and family news from us since the August 31, 2020 article for Facebook and www.trentbruner.com.

 

For our family Christmas, we had Norwegian family over on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with phone calls back to Canadian family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as FaceTime with Norwegian family presently in Spain. We exchanged gifts at home while I played three church services over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends quietly come December 31st, and I will have one New Year’s Eve service to play in Hosanger Lutheran Church at 3:00 pm CEST before we gather for family supper.

Even though my wife and daughters have been forced to be home on occasion for teaching and learning this fall as in Spring 2020, we have also dealt with changing health regulations both locally and nationally since March 12, 2020 for family, school and work life. While my wife has kept busy trying to plan activities with the Osterøy Fiddle and Dance Troupe and has gone through the frustrations of cancelled concerts and traditional fiddle workshops, the troupe’s executive continues to plan for future activities for when life returns to normal.

On stage (or off stage…): Our daughters Hannah Moira and Ingrid Sofie have had private music lessons and group rehearsals with the Bergen Junior Fiddlers as normal, but they also lost orchestra rehearsals and music classes over the fall due to tightened regulations and being forced to go into quarantine once each due to feared exposure just by being in either music class or being on an outdoor education trip with regular school. The one regional youth orchestra that our girls have been scheduled to play in has not started their season yet, and Hannah Moira’s planned participation in the Langhaugen High School’s triannual musical was postponed until 2021-22.

As for my work with the Norwegian Lutheran Church, we have had reduced capacity enforced on us by the Norwegian Health Authority throughout the pandemic for services, weddings, concerts and funerals. Baptisms have either been held as a part of regular services to even smaller limits on the congregations with varying limits depending on the infection situation. We have worked from home on occasion where possible, but for an organist, you need to be in isolation as you find an empty church to practice in for an upcoming service of some form, so this work has not changed for me. While there are national regulations in place, cities and municipalities have permission from the Norwegian government to be stricter as local conditions warrant. There has been no stability in terms of regulations or numbers for limited capacity, which has caused complaints from concert organizers and more than one Norwegian Lutheran bishop in Norwegian media as to how health regulations are consistently and presently applied. I’m sure the same applies for the other Christian denominations and world religions as well.

With my work as a choir conductor, government restrictions limited opportunities for practice and concerts throughout 2020. The Alvidt-Manger District Choir, northwest of Bergen, has not yet started their 2020-21 season because of the corona situation in their municipality. Most of the choir members are also seniors, putting them in one of the high risk groups for COVID-19. New repertoire has been selected and a post corona concert program is in place, but the wait continues for the vaccines to make their rounds and for their rehearsal space to open again in the nearby Town of Knarvik. I await the moment when I can conduct this group again, trusting it will be sooner than later. The other choir I conduct, the Tysnes Chamber Choir, was able to present their fall concert with the theme of “Love and Friendship” on November 8th in Onarheim Lutheran Church with Hannah Moira as the musical guest on hardanger fiddle, backup violin and Canadian fiddle for a concert that was under corona regulations. But Tysnes’ appearance at a local Christmas concert in Onarheim planned for December 13th that I was supposed to conduct was cancelled due to stricter national regulations…again.

As a piano accompanist, the Unneland Community Choir was able to present their Irish Music evening under corona restrictions October 10th with Yours truly on piano and both Hannah Moira and Ingrid Sofie on fiddle. A sample clip of their fiddle performance is on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHo5Jvxjq6A&list=PLBvP9Yzm7FupvV45WUZSTbBUYj9T4r885&index=5


But Unneland’s planned Christmas concert in Arna Lutheran Church December 2nd was cancelled. The daughters and I were also planned to be part of this performance, but health protocols stopped this one too. I was also to accompany Damekoret Toneveld, a Bergen women’s choir on December 6th in Bergen for a concert in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, but corona ruined that as well.

As a composer, I gained many quiet moments in 2020 to find new fiddle melodies for “All of Mine - Volumes 2 and 3” and another book of original fiddle tunes that I will release in 2021, along with ideas for new piano solos and gospel songs as of today. As I find new melodies and think of how to name these tunes, I remember three things my wife told me before we married in 2004: “Remember your country. Remember your family. Remember your friends.” For me, this shows how composing has become a vehicle to honour as many people and places as possible that have been part of my life. Composing can sometimes be planned for special purposes, but as many composers will tell you, the best music is not always planned, but rather inspired by almost anything in life. For this, I’m more than thankful to use composing to make a positive difference for others, and it is a responsibility I take seriously. I look forward to the day when many musicians can help me tell a life story one piece, one song and one tune at a time. Even if they are not recorded right away, at least the melodies are being notated, and I know this will leave a history for others to cherish and learn from inside and outside of music.

As a reminder, check www.trentbruner.com to purchase (hard copy or PDF) sheet music, choral arrangements of original songs, country songs, books of original fiddle music, gospel songbooks, teaching aids for fiddle accompaniment, solo piano CDs and fiddle CDs from Ambos and The Cleavers. In closing, our entire family wishes you and yours a happy new year and nothing but positives in 2021. God willing, I’ll see you somewhere down the musical trail!

Musically yours, Trent