Mount Royal Conservatory elementary school outreach concerts

StoryMusic is so thrilled to have finally been able to perform in person again! Yesterday we finished a run of 6 school concerts in 4 days, thanks to a donor connected with the Mount Royal University Conservatory, allowing us to reach out to about 1,125 kids at Chinook Park, Woodbine, Louis Riel and Westmount Charter Elementary Schools, in hopes that they are inspired to study music and benefit from the many fine teachers and programs at MRU. We believe that music brings joy, discipline and community, making for a better, happier society, so: the more the merrier. We encourage people to find out more about MRU Conservatory here:

Many thanks to narrator Julie Freedman Smith, violinist Diane Lane, violist Liza Scriggins and cellist Andrea Case for their artistry and collegiality; and thanks also to the teachers and students for their enthusiastic participation!

The kids were amazingly good at discerning the difference between violin, viola and cello in our blind listening game, even with each instrument playing the exact same notes in the same register. They also showed creativity in their story ideas for the piece by Francaix we played (for instance, one student said she pictured chickens, another a wild party!). Great questions at our Q&A session at the end of the concert: What happens next in the story? Why do your instruments sound different? How long did you practice together to make the show?

It was a wonderful week, and we hope to be able to share with more people again before long.

New recordings available now!

Check them out here:

StoryMusic is excited to announce the release of its debut recording, Salmon & Dipper’s Wondrous Journey + Elk’s Wintry Day, as well as its French twin, Le voyage merveilleux de Saumon et Dipper + Jour d’hiver du Wapiti! The albums and tracks are available on Bandcamp starting February 18th, with streaming on most other platforms available from March 18th. We are hugely grateful to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for making this recording possible, and hope listeners enjoy our stories along with the incredibly evocative music of Debussy and Jolivet!

Released today! Little Red Riding Hood and Beethoven at the CPO

StoryMusic is excited to announce that the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has just released a video of Liza Scriggins’ latest creation: a version of Little Red Riding Hood to go along with Beethoven’s dramatic String Quartet No. 11 in f minor, Op 95. Performing are the illustrious principals of the CPO’s string section (in costume!): Diana Cohen and Lorna Tsai, violins; Laurent Grillet-Kim, viola, and Arnold Choi, cello. Julie Freedman Smith brings the story to life with her spot-on narration and singing, and Olga Cuttell of Oladesign created several gorgeous paintings for the project as well. (Please note that the work above is by Swedish painter Carl Larsson, from 1881. Olga Cuttell’s paintings for this particular project will only be available through the CPO, since they commissioned her.) The video is marketed to schools as part of the CPO’s Education Concerts, but homeschoolers as well as families whose schools have not signed up with the CPO can contact Education & Outreach Manager Alysha Bulmer to work out an affordable option for access. This classic fairytale (with a surprise ending) as well as Beethoven’s moving, mind-blowing music are not to be missed! For more information, please visit the CPO website:

Christmas Eve at Knox Presbyterian Church

Many thanks to Reverend Mark Tremblay and Mary Wescott for hosting StoryMusic at Knox Presbyterian! Paul Grindlay did a magnificent job as narrator, sharing a version of the traditional nativity story, while my esteemed colleagues Brigit Knecht, Diane Lane and Olena Kilchyk joined me (Liza Scriggins) in performing music from the American Quartet by Antonin Dvorak. It was a lovely crowd, and a great way to celebrate Christmas Eve!


Free concert Christmas Eve!

Looking for a family-friendly event on December 24th? Look no further: Knox Presbyterian Church and StoryMusic have come together to bring you a version of the traditional Christmas story alongside the American String Quartet by Antonin Dvorak. Hope to see you there!

Story Music Christmas Eve Poster final

StoryMusic @ Central Library, June 15, 2019

Our first public performance of Grounder’s Grand Adventure! We are grateful to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for making this possible, as well as to the Calgary Public Library for donating the use of their beautiful new Performance Hall, with helpful staff on hand to make everything run smoothly. We were too busy to count attendees to this ticket-free event, but it looked to be about two-thirds full in a hall that seats 336– not bad on a sunny June afternoon, on a shoestring advertising budget to boot! We hope to be able to present more free concerts in the future, so there are fewer barriers to hearing music that ignites the imagination and brings such joy.

StoryMusic @ Falconridge School, June 13, 2019

Thanks to the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program, we were able to present Grounder’s Grand Adventure to about 120 Grade 1 & 2 students at the Falconridge School, in two afternoon shows at their Learning Commons. Intense listening, and excellent questions! Many thanks to Assistant Principal Heather Scholz as well as the teachers and staff for hosting us— it was a such a pleasure to interact with the kids.

StoryMusic @ Heartland Agency, May 27-29, 2019

It was a delight to return to Heartland Agency’s Signal Hill location for morning and afternoon performances, as well as to perform for the first time at a couple of their other locations: Cornerstone Daycare and Mayland Heights. Staff were wonderful in organizing the kids and setting them up to participate in our presentation of Grounder’s Grand Adventure, some brought in from other locations as well, enabling us to bring live music to over 180 preschoolers. We were happy to hear one of comments passed down from a teacher there: “The children were so relaxed and regulated in the musical environment. It was a great experience.” Thanks to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for making all this possible!

Grounder’s Grand Adventure! June 15th


Please join us June 15, 2019 at 3:00 PM at the New Central Library’s Performance Hall (800 3 St SE, Calgary, Alberta), for the story of a Richardson’s ground squirrel as he finds his way in the world, set to the Dohnanyi Serenade for violin, viola and cello. This will be a free public concert, thanks to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts! Grounder’s Grand Adventure features narrator Samantha Whelan Kotkas, violinist Elisa Milner, violist Liza Scriggins, and cellist Olena Kilchyk. Audience members can meet the musicians afterwards and participate in an instrument discovery zoo.

We also look forward to performing this program for Create (the new Calgary Children’s Festival) on May 26 at 5 PM, as well as for children at the Heartland Agency’s various locations in late May.  So pleased Olga Cuttell could provide her stunning artwork for all this! See more of what she does at Oladesign.

Want to learn more about Richardson’s ground squirrels? Dr. Gail Michener at the University of Lethbridge has done extensive research and shares loads of information here:

StoryMusic concerts for CIWA @ the New Central Library Performance Hall




We are grateful to the National Arts Centre for funding morning and afternoon concerts for multiple programs run by the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association! Numerous people new to Canada heard Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, as well as other pieces and accompanying storytelling, and got to try out instruments afterwards at our petting zoo. Many thanks also to the Calgary Public Library for generously donating their gorgeous Performance Hall for the event! Support staff was wonderful– we had everything we needed to make the performances run smoothly. CIWA also put in a lot of work to organize their programs to be able attend. It was a great privilege to share what we love with so many new faces!