Bonnie Hallett plays the fiddle, mandolin, and sings for Prairiegrass
Bonnie is a retired public school teacher with a bachelor of science degree in
art, music, and special education. She began taking violin lessons in the fourth
Today, she is giving private violin and guitar lessons through the Community Education department at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools.
For many years, before moving to Winsted to be close to her sons, Eddie and Tom Swantek, Bonnie lived in Thief River Falls, where she played violin for 25 years as a member of the Greater Grand Forks Symphony. When she became director of the historical society in Thief River Falls, she brought band music to the festivals in town. It was with one of these bands that Bonnie was given the opportunity to play old-time country music.
Bonnie has three violins. She has a violin that she uses for fiddling that is painted purple and it has a very deep kind of alto sound to it. It was made in China and not real expensive. She has another violin that she bought a couple of years ago which is a German-made violin and has a beautiful sweet sound to it. She uses that one for playing classical music. Bonnie's third violin was her grandfather’s, who was also a fiddler. The fiddle had been stored in the attic of her parents’ home while she was growing up and was one of the incentives she had for learning to play the violin. She uses her grandfather’s fiddle for special occasions.