Nelson’s Rebecca Bracewell travelled down to the island in the summer with a button accordion and a bit of hope and returned from the Victoria Accordion Festival with first prize trophies in two major categories.
It was another step in her determination to master an instrument that can hold a concert hall, a fusion lounge or a backstreet café.
In February Bracewell leaves for Victoria again, this time to study with her teacher Jelena Milojevic, one of the world’s foremost concert accordionists. To mark her departure Bracewell will be giving a concert at Booksmyth Underground.
“For me this move is really exciting. I’ve learned so much from Jelena but we’ve done most of our work through Skype,” said Bracewell.
“To get to the highest level we realized I needed to be there in Victoria”.
Bracewell will be taking on not just accordion studies but a new school, moving from LVR to Reynolds Secondary, where she will complete grades 11 and 12. From there she plans to pursue tertiary studies in music with accordion performance and composition her focus.
“It’s funny how things progress. Nelson was the place where I got to love the accordion. Part of what inspired me was hearing two Nelson piano accordionists, Catherine McGrath and Bessie Wapp. Catherine was my first teacher. Later on I heard a program on CBC radio with Jelena, who was playing chromatic accordion, which is all buttons. What you can do with a button accordion is amazing! So I got in contact with her and over time I moved to that.”
Bracewell’s performance includes popular, classical, tango and jazz pieces. Her friend Janae Gauthier will be guest pianist.
The concert takes place on Friday, January 16 at 7 p.m. at Booksmyth Underground, 338 Baker Street.
Entry is by donation and proceeds will go toward a new accordion. Refreshments will be provided.