Canmore concert debut!

We are grateful to the good people at Canmore Seniors Centre for the use of their Creekside Hall this past weekend, as well as to our friendly audience members who came out to hear us! Special thanks go to Calgary Philharmonic violinist John Lowry, who valiantly stepped in to play the challenging Violin 1 parts at the eleventh hour when our usual player fell ill. It was a lovely crowd for a rainy Halloween weekend afternoon, and such a pleasure to premiere a live performance of Little Red Riding Hood with Beethoven. Hope to be back before long!

Coming up next: morning and afternoon concerts in early December at Immigrant Services Calgary’s NE location, another immigrant service centre performance in early February, and a public concert in Calgary at the Central Library’s Performance Hall on the afternoon of February 5, hopefully with Green Fools Theatre puppetry (grant application pending). More details soon!

Free public concert in Canmore!

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FAQ

1. What is the address of the venue for this event?

Creekside Hall at Canmore Seniors Association is located at 600B Ninth Street, Canmore, AB, T1W 3L9

2. Where do I get tickets? How much are they?

This will be a nonticketed free community event (thanks to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts): first come, first serve.

3. How long will the concert be?

The concert runs about 50 minutes. If viruses aren’t running too rampant, we’ll have a stringed instrument discovery zoo afterwards, where audience members can take turns trying a kid-sized cello and violin or two (with the help of our performers).

4. What will the show be like?

We start with a short selection of Beethoven’s music, followed by introductions, a little about our instruments and about Beethoven, some listening games, a short history of Little Red Riding Hood, and then the main event: Little Red Riding Hood narrated alongside Beethoven’s epic String Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95, “Serioso.” This is not your typical fairytale! It has many of the traditional elements, but Beethoven’s music seems to suggest a different ending… 

5. Are costumes allowed? Are costumes required?

All are welcome, with or without costumes— although this being an all-ages event, we encourage costumes that will foster a sense of fun for even the littlest among us.

6. Who will be performing?

Luminous Voices singer Julie Freedman Smith will narrate/sing, along with Kensington Sinfonia members Genevieve Micheletti (violin 1), Diane Lane (violin 2), Liza Scriggins (writer and viola), and Andrea Case (cello).

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Feel free to use our contact form if you have any other questions, and we hope to see you at this one-of-a-kind family-friendly event!

Thank you, Alberta Foundation for the Arts!

Thanks to the AFA, StoryMusic has the opportunity to perform its latest creation, Little Red Riding Hood with Beethoven, for the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association as well as Immigrant Services Calgary, along with two free public concerts, one in Canmore and one in Calgary. These events are slated for late October/early November 2022. Details on the October Canmore concert will be released shortly! The Calgary concert has been scheduled for February 5, 2023 at the Central Library’s Performance Hall, in hopes we can secure funding in collaboration with Kensington Sinfonia to bring in Green Fools Theatre with their fantastic puppetry. We will keep you posted on this joint effort!

Be Creative Camp at the newly renovated Centre for Newcomers!

This summer, StoryMusic was lucky to be part of a unique collaboration between the National Arts Centre, filmmaker Emil Agopian, teaching artists Samantha Whelan Kotkas and Walter MacDonald White Bear, voice artist Jonathan Love, puppet guru Dean Bareham, and the good people at the Centre for Newcomers, bringing a week-long arts camp to children recently arrived in Canada. The kids, teachers and counsellors had an amazing array of artistic experiences and exposure to top teaching artists in Alberta: a performance of StoryMusic’s Grounder’s Grand Adventure with Jonathan Love narrating, an amazing presentation by Walter MacDonald White Bear, a shadow puppet-making session with Green Fools Theatre’s founder Dean Bareham, and a masterful wrap-up with Samantha Whelan Kotkas. Emil Agopian was fantastic at teaching the kids claymation, and got his crew to film along the way. He will later distill it all into a documentary, and work with StoryMusic to create a film of storytelling and music that responds the kids’ responses to the camp. Stay tuned for more on this exciting venture! We are deeply grateful to the National Arts Centre for making it all possible ❤️

June 2022 performances

StoryMusic was happy to be able to share Grounder’s Grand Adventure with students in grades K-6 at Calgary Montessori School in Britannia on June 13th, including a performance by a 6-year-old MRU Conservatory viola student who also attends that school, all thanks to the Mount Royal Conservatory’s school outreach program.

StoryMusic also played a free public concert in Rimbey on June 15th as part of the Red Deer Symphony’s community outreach in conjunction with the Health Arts Society of Alberta. Everyone had interesting questions, and there was a wonderful sense of community by the end of the evening! We were grateful to the Rimbey Public Library for hosting us at the last minute when the weather became too iffy for stringed instruments outdoors. There’s nothing like trying to execute fast spiccato string crossings with stiff, chilled fingers while attempting to shield your instrument from occasional rain drops and prevent your music from blowing away— the library was much cozier for us. And special thanks to RDSO Executive Director Jennette Miller for all her hard work in making this event happen!

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:

https://www.mtroyal.ca/ProgramsCourses/FacultiesSchoolsCentres/TheConservatory/index.htm

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: https://storymusiccanada.bandcamp.com

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: https://calgaryphil.com/education/education-concerts/

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!

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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