Trent Bruner

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Hi, everyone!


As I promised July 19, 2022, here is part two of the article I started. I’ll title this second portion as “Music in the Family.” Both daughters will be going on in school as well, with Hannah Moira entering Grade 13 and Ingrid Sofie entering Grade 10. Time flies quick when the kids grow up, but here’s what happened with them since the start of 2022!


On Wednesday, March 9th, in Fjell Lutheran Church, west of Bergen, I was able to accompany Hannah Moira and Ingrid Sofie on both standard fiddle and hardanger fiddle for a concert of Norwegian folk music, which was performed to a receptive audience at the invitation of Fjell’s cantor, Malgorzata Tveit. At the Hordaland Folk Music contest (a local contest for residents of the Bergen region) in Bergen March 19th, 2022, Ingrid Sofie received first and second place in her standard fiddle and hardanger fiddle classes respectively. She, along with duo partner Ida Mikkonen from the Bergen Junior Fiddlers, in their duo “Nøringen,” also won the small group class. Hannah Moira did not compete that weekend due to inflamed tendons in her bow wrist, meaning a short break from playing took place under doctor’s orders.

On Saturday, May 7th, Ingrid Sofie was confirmed in Hamre Lutheran Church and had the chance to play for her own confirmation service at the invitation of Pastor Stein Hugo Fykse. This was only the start of a busy music month for Ingrid Sofie as well as for Hannah Moira. Hannah Moira completed a one year term in the talent development program of the Norwegian Conservatory of Music in Oslo that month. I was able to attend her final student performance of the academic year and enjoy what she and other Norwegian youth had learned and perform over the academic session. From May 26-28, Ingrid Sofie and Ida Mikkonen (Nøringen) were invited to perform at “Skamba skamba kankliai,” an international folk music festival in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, upon recommendation from the Bergen Junior Fiddlers. This was a true international honour to play six times for an international audience, have a formal meeting with the Norwegian Ambassador to Lithuania, and be the youngest performers of the entire 2022 festival. They were also asked to present all their programs in English, which was the first time they did this for an international audience. Mikko Mikkonen, Ida’s father, went as their chaperon as school, church and choir obligations kept the rest of us home that weekend. 

After Ingrid Sofie and Ida returned from Lithuania, “Nøringen” were the opening act for the Aasane Youth Orchestra (Åsane unge strykene), which is Ingrid Sofie’s regular Tuesday night orchestra group through the school year, and has nearly 40 children over three age groups who rehearse at the Aasane Culture House on Bergen’s north side. They, along with the orchestra (Tone Nilssen and Hilde Bårtvedt, conductors) and guest artists Johanne Mjøs and Sigrid Stubsveen (both on standard fiddle and hardanger fiddle) performed a summer concert at Haus Lutheran Church on Friday, June 10th. This was the orchestra’s first time to ever perform on the Island of Osterøy, with the concert bring warmly received by an enthusiastic local audience.

From June 22-26, while I had playing obligations with the Norwegian Lutheran Church, both daughters and my wife travelled to Rjukan, in southeastern Norway, for the Norwegian Traditional Folk Music Championships, known as “Landskappleiken.” Ingrid Sofie and Ida (Nøringen) won the Junior Small Group Category, and Ingrid placed in the top six of her solo junior classes on both standard fiddle and hardanger fiddle, which was great for her first time in this class because of earlier cancellations due to corona. In her final year of junior eligibility, Hannah Moira placed second in Junior Standard Fiddle, and won not only the Junior Hardanger Fiddle class, but also received NOK 10.000,- (over $1,300.00 CDN) as a special talent prize, and a new hardanger fiddle valued at NOK 130.000,- (over $17,000.00 CDN). Both also competed with various groups over the week in group classes, helping these groups perform very well, regardless of their placings.

Hannah Moira was also selected by Norway’s folk music organization, “FolkOrg,” to perform as a member of a Norwegian Old Time Music dance band, which is one of four special project bands that will perform throughout the summer. This band performed at the Førde International Folk Music Festival July 6-10, and will perform again at the Norwegian Old Time Dance Music competition from August 3rd-7th, known as “Landsfestivalen.” The Førde festival also invited Hannah Moira to play for an international delegation attending the Førde festival before her band commitments began; an unexpected honour, indeed. She also received second and third place for her junior hardanger and junior standard fiddle entries at the Hilme Folk Music Festival in the Norwegian Town of Fagernes on Friday July 15th. 

I plan on being back in Canada from August 19th-29th because of the changed schedule in 2022 and barring any travel chaos, which seems to cause the world much grief these days. I will miss the John Arcand Fiddle Fest in Saskatoon, as it is no longer in operation, and the Pembroke Fiddle and Step Dance Contest, as it has been cancelled for the third consecutive year because of the corona pandemic. So, I trust that all of us will do our best to make each moment count as much as possible. I know I will. Until next time, see you somewhere down the musical trail!

Musically yours, Trent