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Goldade to share yodeling talents at Bonanzaville

Pioneer Days will feature a variety of entertainment but one individual who is sure to stand out is 13-year-old yodeler Kristi Goldade from Wishek, N.D., who will be taking the stage for special performances Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23.

An eighth grader at Strasburg Public School and the daughter of Michael and Geraldine Goldade, Kristi discovered her talent for yodeling early on, which in the musical world is defined as the singing practice that involves abrupt alternating changes to the falsetto.

For as long as she can remember, Kristi has been a country music fan, singing since she was three. At the age of eight, she and her family attended the musical at Medora. This is where she was first introduced to her present preoccupation. "I heard a gal yodel and I fell in love with it," Kristi said. "I was hooked, and determined to teach myself. I was trying to yodel all the way home."

A few weeks later, she attended a centennial celebration and heard a young gal yodel. "I asked my parents if I could have her CD and soon after, I was learning how to yodel on my own," Kristi recalled. "I did a little yodeling at school and one of the teachers suggested I do some songs on grandparent's day. From there things got started and soon I was entertaining for different events."

She also quickly found herself looking for more songs to perform. In that quest, her dad helped her out by searching for yodeling songs on the Internet. He discovered the Web site of Janet McBride, the Yodeling Queen of Texas, contacted her by email and by the next morning had a reply telling him if he was looking for yodeling material he had come to the right place. She sent material and Kristi was on her way. "Although I have not yet met this great lady who is in her 70's, I have learned a great deal from her and give her a lot of credit for the abilities I have today," Kristi said.

As a result of those abilities, Kristi has performed in four states this year, North and South Dakota, Montana, and as a guest on the Yodelers Paradise Show in Sandstone Minn., which is aired on the RFD TV show at the Midwest Country Theater. She has also performed at centennials, county fairs, dairy days, and various conventions.

Through it all, Kristi has received ongoing support from her family which includes five grown siblings, Michael, Tony, Cheryl, Amanda, and Jennifer, all married, and 11 nieces and nephews.

Here she offers special kudos to her mom and dad who have always been there for her. "My dad just tells me (with a smile on his face); don't let it go to your head. Mom is proud of what I've accomplished and she supports and encourages me to follow my dream. She told me as long as people want to hear you sing and you enjoy doing it, I'll drive you to wherever you want to go to make someone happy. They tell me to never forget my responsibilities and the respect I've learned growing up on our dairy farm. I know they love to hear me practice yodeling to the calves when I feed them."

Kristi's performance during Pioneer Days will be interesting and varied, featuring different types of yodeling as well as old and new country songs. She may even invite a few of the younger members of the audience on stage to do a little yodeling with her.

She is so looking forward to her appearance. "Not only is it an honor to perform at Bonanzaville, but it is also an honor for me wherever I am asked to perform because it gives me a chance to share my choice of music." She will also be dressing the part, outfitted in western wear, complete with cowboy hat and boots.

Typically, Kristi performs alone but in the past has had the privilege to yodel with such great musicians as Sherwin and Pam Linton of Coon Rapids, Minn., and Clifford and Ellen Johnson from Napoleon, describing Clifford as her guitar and mandolin mentor. "Yodeling has opened up a whole new world for me, providing the chance to meet and visit with people of all types of backgrounds. I have also met people with great musical talents both musicians and singers."

She said she is always encouraged by the comments she receives after a performance that have included "we'll see you in Nashville some day," "can I have your autograph," "awesome," "never quit, keep on sharing your talent with the world," and "you have such a loud, clear voice at such a young age."

When asked what the future holds in store, Kristi hopes to record a second CD later this fall, and as for her actual singing career, she will let things happen as they come; one day at a time and enjoy every minute of it.

It's obvious that music is indeed where Kristi's heart is. "The thing that means the most is to see people enjoy listening to my yodeling, which is probably becoming a lost art. It's also great to see people enjoy music as much as I do, and to have met all the great new people that I have become friends with over the last few years."