DENIS AND LYNAE DUFRESNE the husband and wife team who make up the band PEAR, have performed throughout the world thrilling their fans with their high energy fiddling act.
But in spite of their worldwide travels, nothing compared to the feeling they had when they stepped on stage at the Festival at Sandpoint last month. Lynae, a Sandpoint native who moved away shortly after high school graduation, had attended several Festival at Sandpoint concerts as a child and often dreamed of performing here one day. Then, seven years ago, she and Denis traveled from their home in Calgary to see Nickel Creek perform at the Festival. It was then that Denis also made it a goal to one day bring the couple’s musical talent to Lynae’s hometown crowd. “Seven years later we were up on the same stage we had dreamt about, and we were opening up for Nickel Creek. It was pretty surreal,” said Lynae of last month’s performance.
Both started to explore music at a young age, Lynae at 3 ½ and Denis at the age of 4. As a toddler, Lynae loved to dance to music. So when local resident Carolyn Hatch started a violin program called the Fiddlers Hatchery, Lynae’s mom immediately signed her up. “I’m thankful to this day that she put me in the program,” said Lynae.
As for Denis, he grew up in a family of musicians. He showed an interest in playing guitar, but his parents decided he was too young. “So they put me into a violin program with the promise of a guitar as I got a bit bigger,” said Denis.
As they continued on their paths to a professional music career, Denis and Lynae met in Calgary when they were auditioning for a group called Barrage. They were both accepted into the group and from there the friendship blossomed into love. “We have had the great pleasure of touring the world and playing music together,” said Lynae who with Denis and their child now call Calgary home.
While they said it was a bit nerve wracking to perform in front of their family and friends, it was also amazing, exhilarating and exciting. “We have been wanting to play the Festival for many years,” said Lynae, who adds the best part was being able to share with her hometown all that she and Denis have been working on for the past several years. “To get to feel the support and love of Sandpoint was pretty unreal and a really great feeling.”
While many may find it challenging to travel and work with one’s spouse, Denis and Lynae do not see it that way. They said the only real challenge they face is making sure their son is occupied while they are on stage so the couple can focus on their performance.
“We know our music and each other so well that we can play and have fun on stage with each other and the audience. There is an ease, and we can relax into the music and enjoy it as much as our audience,” said Lynae who along with Denis is grateful for the support of their family and friends. “Without them we would not be where we are today.”
As far as their Festival performance goes, they credit Western Pleasure Guest Ranch with helping fulfill that dream. “They are huge supporters of us, and through them came many more supporters that helped to make our presence known to the Festival,” said Lynae. “And thank you to (Executive Director) Dyno Wahl and the (festival) board of directors for listening and taking a chance on us.”