Samantha Whelan Kotkas
Samantha Whelan Kotkas is a professional trumpet player, teaching artist, storyteller and award-winning children’s book producer with over 20 years of experience working in Albertan, Canadian and international arts communities. She is the second trumpet player in the Red Deer Symphony and performs regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Rosa Barocca, Altius Brass. She has authored several works which she narrates with Symphony Orchestras and Canada’s top jazz and classical musicians. She was also very honoured to serve as the "Distinguished Graduate" at the University of Calgary’s convocation ceremony in June of 2018.
In conjunction with her active career as a performer, Samantha is the education advisor for Calgary Pro Musica and a teaching artist for the National Arts Centre of Canada (NAC), where she finds her cross-cultural work with Walter MacDonald White Bear as part of the Music Alive Program, very meaningful. She has written outreach and music teaching guides for the NAC, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She is currently writing and producing "Wandering with Wonder," an immersive outdoor musical storytelling experience with original live and recorded music, story, puppetry and dance to premiere in September 2021 at the Leighton Arts Centre.