Trent Bruner

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Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival – August 13-18, 2013 Print E-mail

Hello everyone! Thanks for checking into the latest news from my August 2013 performances in Sasktchewan.

After I was finished at the John Arcand Fiddle Fest in Saskatoon and the Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert, I went to teach and play at the Northern Lights Blurgrass and Old Tyme Music Camp and Festival for the first time at the Ness Creek site, northeast of Big River, Saskatchewan. The weather was clear and hot, not to mention that it was a busy but positive week!

I had a diligent class of five piano students that were part of an enrollment of approximately 100 students for the camp as they learned the finer points of accompanying fiddlers and other traditional folk music on piano. Their abilities ranged from intermediate to advanced and from teenagers to seniors, but they gave their best efforts and showed good musical growth over this week. Other classes were offered for students at various levels for banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, kids’ music, and vocal harmony, standup bass, and Appalachian flatfoot dancing. Students came from as far East as Halifax, Nova Scotia and as far Northwest as Alaska. Instructors came from various parts of Western Canada, California and Virginia. There were evening concerts, dances and jam sessions that took place throughout the week as well. The camp ends with a concert number from the whole camp on the Friday evening when the festival opens. It was thanks to the work and patience of Ken Olson (of The Baler Strings) that this performance was coordinated and guided so that everyone was able to get their one solo in through the song ”Hold What Ya’ Got”.

I was asked by the organizing committee to lead fiddle jams as well for the weekend festival during the Saturday program, which was the first time this had been offered during the festival. When I was not leading jam sessions on guitar, I was enjoying the music played by groups such as The Whitetop Mountain Band from Virginia, The Get Down Boys from Los Angeles, California, The Carper Family from Texas, The Kulane Grass (from Alberta and B.C.), Regina-based bands Buffalo Narrows, Binder Twine and The Balers, Raven She Hollers, and popular polka band The Western Senators. For those who remained for Sunday, there was Sunday Morning Gospel music led by Irvin Amundson of Park Valley, Saskatchewan. This is always a festival tradition that has been warmly received. In closing, the week went well and good comradery between all was a positive outcome of the entire week.

My next news item will be on the 24th annual Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship as it was held for the first time outside Ottawa, Ontario…in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan! See you next time down the musical trail!

Musically Yours, Trent