Trent Bruner

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Summer Update - July 2008 Print E-mail

Hello, everyone!  I trust that you are having a wonderful summer and that you're ready to resume all your regular activities where ever you are.  Here's the latest news from me from July 2008.

I was again in Govan, Saskatchewan as house accompanist for the 23rd annual Govan Fiddle Festival and the 24th annual Saskatchewan Provincial Fiddling Championships July 4th-5th.  Although there were only 25 contestants, a good time was had by all and wonderful music was shared by all present.  Congratulations to James Steele for winning the Saskatchewan Grand Championship and the Govan Championship class.  Contest organizers Don and Carolyn Mortenson have announced that the contest dates for next year will July 3-4, 2009, so mark your calendars and spread the word with everyone you know.  This contest marked 20 years for me working as a house accomapanist at various fiddle contests, so to continue this long with the the support of all the fiddlers involved (both contestants and guests) is a true encouragement for me as I continue my involvement in this musical genre.  A big thank you to all for your continued support.

I also was delighted to return to the Tuffnell Fiddle Camp at Tuffnell, Saskatchewan from July 14-18, but not as a guitar teacher as I was in 2007.  This time, I was there as an observer as well to watch the teaching of Everett Larson at work.  This was a part of my academic fieldwork towards my masters degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Bergen in Norway.  To see Everett work with adult beginners at Tuffnell was a true delight as they were able to play "Lavender Blue" and "This Land is Your Land".  This speaks so positively for me to see him work as well as he does at age 82, which is truly remarkable and delightful.

I also had performances with John Arcand and Calvin Vollrath during the latter part of July.  With John, we were house musicians for Back to Batoche Days for the square dancing and Red River jiggiing contestants (nine groups and numerous jiggers).  For the fiddle contest, I accompanied 12 fiddlers who competed while John was one of the contest judges.  It was truly heartwarming to see attendance rise at Batoche and to see many watch the cultural events that were held there.

With Calvin, I was teaching and performing at his fiddle camp in St., Edouard, Alberta from July 20-24, 2008 with 55 students in attendance.  Everyone there worked hard, learned what they were taught to the best of their ability and played well.  We also performed as the "non-bluegrass" act at the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival at Stony Plain, Alberta, west of Edmonton. Although I was the only piano accompanist in the entire bluegrass festival, it was great to see old friends and share some good Canadian fiddling, stepdancing from Calvin's wife Rhea Labrie and guitar licks from Clinton Pelletier.

Edmonton fiddler Rod Olstad and I were also preparing an academic presentation for the 3rd ever North Atlantic Fiddle Convention held in St. John's, Newfoundland from August 3-8, with our presentation taking place on Tuesday, August 5th.  Our topic was on the influences of Norwegian old time music on the Canadian Prairies.  We also had portions of two concerts we played while there and I also had a piano accompanying workshop to give there as well.  More news on this will come in the next news article.

In closing, enjoy the rest of the summer and please sign the guestbook!

Musically yours, Trent