It’s refreshing to hear an honest voice like Glenna Switzer wave the flag for a more traditional, rootsy style of country music. With her authentic, down home approach to songwriting and a natural knack for crafting a memorable hook, Switzer is the real deal in the Saskatchewan music scene. Her personal songs have that comfortable, worn in sound that you swear you’ve heard before. You can hear shades of Loretta Lynn and Glen Campbell infused with the piano stylings of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino, but with a distinct mix that she makes her own. According to Switzer, “I am an old rocker, but when I write songs they come out pretty traditional country.”
Based in Swift Current, Glenna Switzer is a veteran of the Saskatchewan country music scene, singing and playing keyboards onstage and in the studio with established artists like The Vern Michaels Band, Laura Hayes, Corinne Newton, and Mark Penner. In 2016, she released her well-received debut album Long Time Comin’, co-produced by Switzer and Mark Penner. The album is chock full of fun two-steppers and misty-eyed ballads that have resonated with listeners, winning 2017 Roots Album of the Year at the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards.
Over the years, Switzer has been nominated for an impressive eleven Saskatchewan Country Music Awards, taking home three trophies: 2011 Country Music Person of the Year, 2012 Keyboard Player of the Year, and 2017 Roots Album of the Year for Long Time Comin’. She can play keyboards with her right hand, keyboard bass with her left hand, sing, and play an epic pan flute at the same time. Okay, she doesn’t play the pan flute, but she is still one heck of a musical multi-tasker. With this pedigree, it’s clear that her keyboard prowess has helped take her songs and the songs of other artists to the next level.
As many of her musical colleagues can attest to, Switzer is passionate about helping other artists achieve their dreams. This passion for helping fellow musicians is especially evident with her teaching. She has established a fantastic reputation for being a knowledgeable, empathetic, and inspiring teacher and mentor for young musicians. Her past students include Dana Rempel (Bears in Hazenmore, Megan Nash) and Colter Wall, who Steve Earle hails as the best up-and-coming songwriter in the world right now.
Currently in her third year as a music teacher at Maverick High School, Switzer takes great pride and joy in helping young musicians hone their talent and become more comfortable performing onstage. She is actively involved with the ongoing Youth Talent Night at the Swift Current Lyric Theatre and student showcase nights at Maverick High School Coffee House. She has proven that she is a pro at thinking fast on her feet (and hands) as band leader to her students, helping bring out the best performances out of her students.
Award winning keyboard player, singer, songwriter, teacher… music truly is life for Glenna Switzer.