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Yodelfest gearing up for 10th year with salute to veterans

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2014 10:28 am

World Champion accordion player Michael Bridge performs for a capacity crowd at the 2013 edition of Yodelfest. This year's Yodelfest will be on May 10, at 1:30 p.m. at the Airdrie Town and Country Centre.
World Champion accordion player Michael Bridge performs for a capacity crowd at the 2013 edition of Yodelfest. This year's Yodelfest will be on May 10, at 1:30 p.m. at the Airdrie Town and Country Centre.
File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

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Last year’s Yodelfest sold out in record time and this year’s event is shaping up to be just as popular.

The May 10 event is selling fast, said organizer Miriam Dreher, and is always very popular with seniors.

“We do the old-time music, it’s the music of yesteryear that you don’t hear on the radio,” she said of the popularity of the event. “Yodeling is a dying art.”

She said she has heard from groups from Montana, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and all over Alberta that are coming to town for the event because these types of festivals no longer exist elsewhere.

“I don’t have to try (to encourage people to come), they just come,” she said.

The yodeling event is at the Airdrie Town and Country Centre and starts at 1:30 p.m.

It will feature about 25 Swiss yodelers in six-part harmony with no mics or backup music, the a capella group Don Kletke and Standing Room Only, two alphorn players, 15-year-old rising star Susanne Heysteck and of course Miriam Dreher & the Mountaineers.

Dreher said all the performers are great and added she is excited to hear the alphorn performance.

“It’s going to be absolutely awesome to hear them,” she said.

The alphorn is the large wooden horn featured in the Ricola cough drops commercials.

Dreher said she is also looking forward to the performance from Heysteck, who’s from Rocky Mountain House and is a violin and fiddle player who won two Alberta Idol awards.

“She plays like Natalie McMaster. She is just absolutely awesome,” Dreher said.

Dreher, who has been performing across Canada and the United States for 25 years, will be performing some Swiss yodeling, western yodeling, Wilf Carter songs and original songs.

She said the main difference between Swiss and western style yodeling is, “Swiss is more of a calling and more of an echo than western yodeling.”

Dreher should know because she is an international award-winning yodeler, who has won 23 music awards over the years and was nominated twice to be inducted into the old-time country music hall of fame.

This year’s event is a salute to veterans and the show will open with air cadets carrying the Alberta flag, the Canadian flag and the Swiss flag. Following the flag bearing will be a procession of 12 veterans, including a 92-year-old veteran who landed in Normandy at the age of 18.

“It’s just a good way of showing we love them for what they’ve done for us,” Dreher said of the salute to veterans.

Tickets to Yodelfest are $30 in advance or $35 at the door, and can be purchased at Panda Flowers, Music Centre Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart on First Avenue and Eighth Street, the Rockyview Pharmacy in Crossfield, or by phoning Miriam’s Music at 403-948-1961.


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