Past. Present. Future.
Brenna Wheeler has been “sawing the fiddle” since age three. Carted from her hometown of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee every week, the young musician attended classical violin lessons at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Immersed in the Suzuki method for roughly ten years, she eventually transitioned to fiddling around age eleven. Now, at age twenty-two, Brenna’s sound pulls from Bluegrass, Americana, and Blues influences. Currently, Brenna can be found performing with the Bluegrass band, Minnesota Nice.
During Brenna’s high school years at the Blair School of Music, she took lessons with Crystal Plohman and Matt Combs, where she quickly found her niche in Bluegrass and old time styles. Entering into the fiddle competition scene during her teenage years, Brenna received nods of approval from the likes of Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs.
In 2010, Brenna played “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” with Mt. Juliet native, Charlie Daniels, at the Wilson County Fair. Three years later, Brenna and her brother Eli launched a group called The Nashville Natives, where they began the process of songwriting and arranging their own music. In 2013, the sibling duo recorded and released an EP, which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and CD Baby. This first release contained five original songs and one cover that exhibited an Americana folk sound.
Brenna achieved a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Commercial Violin Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2018. During her time at Belmont, she studied classically with Julliard graduate, Elisabeth Small; Alan Jackson band member, Ryan Joseph; jazz connoisseur, Billy Contreras; Grammy Award Winner, Tammy Rogers King; and Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Buddy Spicher.
Brenna joined the ranks of the Belmont Symphony Orchestra in addition to playing fiddle and providing lead and backup vocals in the Belmont Bluegrass Ensemble. In 2016, the collegian received recognition as the Belmont School of Music Sophomore of the Year, an award which was voted on by her professors. Additionally, in August of 2017, Brenna competed in the Grand Masters Fiddler Championship in Nashville, Tennessee where she ranked top 10.
Brenna was a member of a Bluegrass band called The Squirrel Catchers, who opened for the Grammy Award Winning Bluegrass band, The Steeldrivers, at Nashville’s renowned 3rd & Lindsley music venue in February of 2017.
Brenna recently completed a six month contract with the all female band, The Reckless Charms. The group was selected to as an inaugural band for Celebrity Cruises brand new vessel the Edge.
Currently, the fiddle player has joined ranks with Belmont alum to form the bluegrass band, Minnesota Nice, which aspires to create music that rings true to the roots of bluegrass while simultaneously experimenting with new sounds.