Wanda Gronhovd
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Wanda Gronhovd

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Pop Folk

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Jun
14
Wanda Gronhovd @ Bushwakker Brewing Co Ltd

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Apr
08
Wanda Gronhovd @ Village Guitar and Amp Co.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Feb
10
Wanda Gronhovd @ Creative City Centre

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


The intimate setting of the Grand Coteau Centre’s art gallery seemed to be the perfect backdrop for a recent concert by Wanda Gronhovd.
After all, with many in attendance enjoying some level of personal connection to Wanda, the concert had the feel of a large, family gathering of sorts.
Among those in attendance were Wanda’s parents, longtime Shaunavon residents Ken and Sheila Gronhovd, as well as other relatives, friends and former classmates. The strong turnout, however, didn’t necessarily make things any easier for Wanda.
“I think it was more nerve- wracking playing for people you know,” she chuckled.
“But I really appreciated the support,” she added with a
smile. While her family maintains a strong presence in the community, Wanda herself has only been an occasional visitor to Shaunavon over the past four decades.
“It’s been 40 years since I lived in Shaunavon,” she explained. “I left when I was 15 (to attend LCBI high school in Outlook.)”
After graduating, Wanda attended SIAST where she obtained her nursing diploma and later moved to Montreal where she lived for 13 years. She returned to Saskatchewan in 1998.
The move helped her reconnect not only with her family roots, but her musical roots as well.
Wanda says she can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t singing. “I starting singing at church when I was 10, at the White Valley Church,” she stated. She says singing in church choirs, small community events or family get-togethers, were all a big part of her early childhood development.
Wanda says that when she returned to Saskatchewan she reconnected with an old friend Angie Tysseland who became a mentor and an inspiration on the road to more creativity in her life.
It was through Angie that Wanda met Ross Nykiforuk - a keyboardist for the popular Saskatchewan band The Northern Pikes who has also produced albums for The Sheep Dogs. Nykiforuk, a musician and producer based in Saskatoon, helped guide Wanda through the process of recording a CD and everything connected with launching a recording. The result was her first album, entitled Awakenings, which was finished last year. The recording featuring nine different songs written by Gronhovd.
“I believe in connecting to myself and others through music as a way of awakening in the world,” she says of the album and its title.
The project represented a significant accomplishment for Wanda, and quite a progression from her early days singing at the White Valley Church.
Wanda had taken piano lessons as a child and began learning the guitar as an adult. In the mid 1990s she began playing at small house party events and started writing her own lyrics.
Many of her songs hold personal references that chronicle her own life journey. “As you get older you have more life experiences,” she explained. “My inspiration probably comes from my own stories - my music pretty much tells my stories. It’s very personal and emotional stuff.”
Wanda, who continues to work as a nurse on a part time basis in Regina, plans to pursue her musical interests.
Along with the concert in Shaunavon, she also performed at the Urban Ground Coffeehouse in Swift Current on the same weekend.
She thanked the staff at the Grand Coteau Centre for their assistance in helping put together the Shaunavon concert.
In fact, the local show was quite a bit different than most of her other events. Along with performing at her shows, Wanda typically handles everything from ticket sales and hall rental to promotion and set up.
That wasn’t the case in Shaunavon, though. “Wendy ( Thienes) and the staff at the Grand Coteau Centre were great,” said Wanda.
“Everything was arranged and taken care of - someone even made cookies,” she added with a laugh, pointing out that it was her mom and sister-in-law (Lorie) who made the treats.
Wanda is also finishing up a memoir that has a strong connection with songs on the CD. She is hoping to have the book published sometime in the fall.
In the meantime, more plans are in the works for tentative concert events in Indian Head, Fort Qu’Appelle and Regina. A house party concert has also been arranged for Vancouver later this year.
“Right now, I’m happy to take any opportunity to play,” she stated. “Not just because I enjoy performing, but also for the experience of just playing in front of a live audience.”
Wanda had also performed in Shaunavon during the community's Centennial celebration in 2013. - Shaunavon Standard


Discography

Awakening
Tracks:
Hold on Tight
Break me Open
Awakening
Indecision
It Breaks me Down
In Your Hands
Your Face
When the Tears start to Fall
We're Back Again
http://www.wandagronhovd.com/

Photos

Bio

Artist Bio - Wanda Gronhovd

by JJ Elliott

Heartbreak. Sorrow. Loss. Fear. Uncertainty. Love. Hope. Jubilation. Triumph. Yes, Wanda Gronhovd masterfully deals with the full spectrum of human emotions in the songs she writes. Combining elements of folk, pop, and soul, she creates music that is sure to tap your feet and, as the kids say, get you right in the feels. If Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Sarah McLachlan morphed into one person you might just end up with Wanda Gronhovd. With a beautiful, powerful voice, soaring melodies, and heartfelt lyrics, her songs demand repeated listens.

Born in Shaunavon, Gronhovd got the music bug early with the songs she heard at church. She explains, “I would say that music I heard in church was a big part of my early life in Saskatchewan.” After moving to Montreal for a few years, she sang in church choirs and dabbled in songwriting, eventually having her first performance at a house concert in 1997. However, she mostly kept music on the backburner in Montreal, focusing on her career as a registered nurse.

After moving back to Saskatchewan, Gronhovd decided to devote more time to music and pursue it professionally. She says, “About four years ago I rented the band shell in Wascana Park and presented my songs to a group of friends and a few passersby. I was very nervous and it was the first time that I stepped beyond having friends listen to my songs in my living room. It went fairly well. It gave me more confidence to do a half hour set the next weekend at the 100th anniversary at my home town of Shaunavon.”

Currently based out of Regina, Gronhovd made a significant step in her musical emergence with the release of her soulful debut album Awakening in 2015. The album was produced by Ross Nykiforuk (The Northern Pikes, The Sheepdogs, The Deep Dark Woods, Donnie Parenteau) at Glennross Studios and is a fine showcase for her deeply personal, yet universal songwriting. When asked about the recording process, she gives high praise for Nykiforuk: “He often seemed to know intuitively how to make the songs sound like I wanted.” As for the songs themselves? She says, “It has felt like I must write the songs, otherwise I’m not sure that I could. I do hope that they will help others be more in touch with themselves as well.”

Awakening is a wonderfully cohesive album, beginning with the uplifting rush of ‘Hold On Tight,’ which Gronhovd describes as “a love song for my wife.” ‘Break Me Open’ and ‘Your Face’ are comforting meditations on mortality inspired by the sickness and deaths of loved ones. However, the centrepiece of the album is undeniably the autobiographical title track. ‘Awakening’ is a tour de force of a song that deals with the fears, implications, and, ultimately, the liberation of coming out. There is a feeling of contentment, relief, and triumph when Gronhovd repeatedly sings “My life forever changed.”

When asked about what it’s like to perform ‘Awakening,’ Gronhovd says, “When I introduce the song I frame it from the point of view that we all have things happen to us that are very unexpected.” It’s this knack for turning the deeply personal into something that anyone can relate to that ultimately wins people over to the music of Wanda Gronhovd.


Band Members