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Samantha Whelan Kotkas - BMus 1993

It is so important to have a solid foundation in whatever art form you choose. My time as a Music undergraduate provided me with a solid background in music history, theory and performance. I was given many opportunities to grow as a musician and an educator.
The part I enjoyed most were the ensembles I played in: the Red Band under the direction of Warren Rowley and the University of Calgary Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Glenn Price. I also really enjoyed the musicianship courses I took with Prof. Allan Bell and the education classes I took with Dr. Jeremy Brown and Dr. Malcolm Edwards. I also learned a great deal from my private trumpet instruction with Howard Engstrom. Private instruction for a musician is invaluable. There are many great musical minds still on faculty at the University of Calgary. It is important to search out mentors and study with them to grow as a musician.

After graduating from the University of Calgary, Samantha moved to Houston, TX to pursue a Masters Degree in Trumpet Performance with Jim Austin. While in Texas, she auditioned and was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. After completing her Masters degree, Samantha moved back to Alberta and spent a year as an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, which really changed her life.
She started to create programs for young audiences to effectively engage students in Classical and Jazz music. Samantha became an active freelancer in Calgary and a member of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra while continuing her work as a teaching musician. Her passion is combining all the arts to create meaningful and engaging work for young audiences, which has been very fulfilling and exciting work.

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