Wednesday, 23 March 2016 14:53

2016 has been a long time comin’ for Switzer

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2016 has been a long time comin’ for Switzer Matthew Liebenberg

Swift Current singer and musician Glenna Switzer has a lot of friends and fans.

This is evident with the amount of area musicians and singers who contributed on the recording of her debut CD A Long Time Comin’ — 29 — and by the number of people who showed up for her CD release and dance party — a sold-out Lyric Theatre.
Switzer was honoured by the attention she received at the March 11 event.
“It was a packed house, sold out show. Just like everything else that has happened since recording the CD, I was just blown away by the support I received with a sold-out show, and not only was the show sold out, I had lots of family members there and dear friends,” explains Switzer. “I am humbled and honoured by the number of musicians (18) who came out to play, not only on my album, but also to my CD release party. Some of them came from many miles away. I am not sure what I did to deserve that, but man, I am just blown away by it all.
“I was so busy being in shock. That’s all I can say about it. I was just in shock all night. Like even members of my grad class from Central Butte High School came. They travelled a long way to support me. People who I never expected were there and people from all age groups. That’s how I describe the evening, was I was just in shock ... dumbfounded.”
Switzer, true to her nature, is being modest. The success is not a fluke nor are people just being supportive because of the fact she’s popular in the community. People are being supportive because Switzer is a great person:she is also a gifted musician.
Switzer was nominated as all-star band keyboard player of the year for the 2016 Saskatchewan Country Music Association Awards while her album’s producer Mark Penner was nominated as record producer of the year.
The CD’s title A Long Time Comin’ is no cliché. Switzer worked really hard on the CD and puts it right up there with all that she has accomplished.
“Yes, this is the highlight of my career. Other highlights were putting on the 2011 SCMA awards, and winning Country Music Person of the Year,” explains Switzer. “I feel proud of the fact that I had something to do with musicians working together and putting on shows like the Southwest Tour to raise money to help other musicians. When we work together, we can achieve a lot. And comradery, anyone who has ever been part of a team, knows what a wonderful feeling that is ... When I was a kid, making a record was a close to impossible dream, but as I have gotten older, things have changed. You don’t have to have a record contract any more to make a CD. People have home studios and lots of musicians are putting out independent projects. With companies like CDBaby, who look after sending it to music streaming sites for you, it’s not such a daunting thing anymore. It is still a ton of work though, to record a CD.
“Another highlight was winning 2012 Keyboard Player of the Year. All my life, I wanted to be accepted by my peers. I wanted musicians who I greatly admire, to think I am a good musician. So when I won that, I felt maybe that was the case after many years of hard work and just the fact that these musicians wanted to play on my album shows me that as well. It’s a very cool feeling ... (As well) Premier Brad Wall invited my husband Blaine and I to a luncheon with Prince Edward with other folks from the community. I was very honoured to have been invited. ”
Switzer is busy. She works on the Southwest Tour and that is important to her. She says musicians young and old can gain exposure and experience from being on the tour.
Plus, Switzer is a teacher. She has 53 students who are fortunate to be taught singing and piano/keyboard.
As part of the educational journey, she takes them to the Youth Open Mic at the Lyric once a month.
“I tell my students horror stories day in and day out of the awful things that happened to me when I was learning how to play and sing in a band. And, how lucky they are to have the Lyric Youth Open Mic to go to,” explains Switzer.
When asked if she was going to do another CD, she laughed as she noted a need to recover from this one.
She says even the CD release party show took a lot of energy despite having experience with two Southwest Tours and the 2011 SCMA Awards. 
“The week before the show, I hardly slept, but the reason for that was not that I was worried about the musicians, it was my performance I was worried about,” explains Switzer. “Yes, I have played in bands for years and am used to being on stage, but this was the first time ever, that I had a theatre style show where I sang nothing but my own songs.
“Those memories have been coming back to me ever since the release of the CD. As I said in my closing remarks at my show, I have dreamed all my life of making a record. So, I thought I will make my CD, achieve a lifelong dream, and maybe sell a few off the stage at gigs to help me pay for it. I kept saying over and over after the first 500 were gone in 10 days, ‘I can’t believe this.’ Not only are people buying my CD, but they like my songs. I mean, I like the songs and some of them are very personal, but people like them. That just blew me away.”

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