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 petting 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!

StoryMusic preconcert sessions @ CIWA

SMC@CIWA March 2019

How wonderful to meet everyone at the daycare/preschool program at Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association! It was our first visit there– everyone was most helpful. Thanks to support from the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program, flutist Lucie Jones and I were able to present morning and afternoon pre-concert sessions for the children, so they can get more out of the concerts the following week. We had fun playing excerpts from the Debussy, hearing what they thought it sounded like, playing some conducting/rhythm games, and making puppets for the concert. There are some very musical kids and grownups at CIWA!

We’re changing our name! Storymusic Creations is now StoryMusic

We’ve noticed that our original name, Storymusic Creations, is rather a mouthful and not so easy to remember, plus we seem to use StoryMusic as a nickname most of the time anyways, so from now on we will be:  StoryMusic. We also can be found online with a new web address: And when WordPress becomes more manageable and comprehensible, the rest of the website will be able to be corrected to reflect that…

Performances at the Centre for Newcomers, February 2019

We were happy to see some familiar faces from last spring, as well as to meet many new children and parents, this time presenting Elk’s Wintry Day with Jolivet’s Petite Suite– very fitting for the sub-freezing temperatures in Calgary lately! Many thanks to the kind folks at the Centre for Newcomers for hosting us again. We are also grateful to the National Music Centre’s Music Alive Program, as well as the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, whose financial support makes our continued work possible. It’s wonderful that we can meet with the children for pre-concert sessions, so they can take in more when we perform the entire story and chamber music piece for them. It’s great fun also to see how people react to the instruments when they try them out after our concerts!

Free Concert! Red Carpet Series at Knox Presbyterian Church, 12 PM, February 1, 2019

Storymusic Creations is happy to present Elk’s Wintry Day, set to the Petite Suite by Jolivet, as well as Salmon and Dipper’s Wondrous Journey, set to the Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Debussy, with Samantha Whelan Kotkas (narrator), Liza Scriggins (viola), Lucie Jones (flute) and Gianetta Baril (harp). This event is free and open to the public, and is followed by an optional luncheon for $7. February 1st is a professional development day for Calgary public schools, so it’s great timing! Many thanks to Knox Presbyterian Church for hosting us.



Thanks to our supporters!

Besides contributions from the organizations we perform for, we are also funded by the Music Performance Trust Fund, the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.  Their support allows us to reach many more children than we would otherwise, hopefully igniting a love of music and storytelling in the coming generations!




Performances at Immigrant Services Calgary, December 2018

It’s starting to feel like a homecoming, performing at ISC– wonderful to see everyone again, and to meet a new group of children and parents! This was our eighth visit since 2016. We were delighted to be able to share Salmon and Dipper’s Wondrous Journey with the morning preschool, as well as Elk’s Wintry Day with the afternoon preschool, thanks to the generous support of Immigrant Services and the Music Performance Trust Fund. The National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program also enabled us to meet with the kids the week prior for pre-concert workshops, including a newly designed session for Elk’s Wintry Day. We look forward to more concerts in the spring!

Performances at Cité des Rocheuses, November 2018


Storymusic was very excited to offer our first performances in French earlier today! We are grateful to Cité des Rocheuses and the Music Performance Trust Fund for making this possible. At 10 AM we played for an audience of about 60, including preschool children at Pommes de Reinette Daycare as well as some community members, presenting Le voyage merveilleux de Saumon et Dipper. The next hour we performed for a slightly smaller group of elementary children and families (yay for PD days!) to present Saumon et Dipper as well as Jour d’hiver du Wapiti. Thanks also to the National Art’s Centre’s Music Alive Program, we were able to meet with the children at Pommes de Reinette the previous week for a pre-concert session, sharing a bit more with the kids about the composers, our instruments, things to listen for in the music, and ways to make music together. Kudos to our narrator Julie Freedman Smith for navigating in French! You can view some of the action on our Videos page.

2018-2019 season, as of October 2018

Storymusic Creations is continually evolving, but at the moment, here’s what’s in the works:

Late November 2018: performances and pre-concert sessions at Pommes de Reinette Daycare, La Cité des Rocheuses

Thanks to translations by Red Deer Symphony Maestro Claude LaPalme, and with the help of the Music Performance Trust Fund, the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program, and La Cité des Rocheuses, we are very excited to present our first performances in French! Salmon and Dipper’s Wondrous Journey becomes Le voyage merveilleux de Saumon et Dipper, and Elk’s Wintry Day becomes Jour d’hiver du wapiti.  It will be wonderful to connect with the Francophone community, especially given the French composers on this program. We hope they enjoy Debussy and Jolivet’s music as much as we do! We’re also excited that Julie Freedman Smith of Parenting Power and Luminous Voices has joined our team to narrate in French. She has an extensive background in music education and makes regular appearances on CBC Radio and Global Television; we are honoured to have her with us.

Late November and early December 2018: performances and pre-concert sessions at Immigrant Services Calgary

We’re always happy to see the gang at ISC! With the help of the the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, they hosted our first preschool performances two years ago, and have had us back several times since.

February 1, 2019 @ noon: Red Carpet Series, Knox Presbyterian Church

This will be a FREE public concert of Salmon & Dipper’s Wondrous Journey as well as Elk’s Wintry Day, followed by the option of attending a lovely luncheon (for a nominal fee). Check here for updates to their website: Hope to see you there!

March 2019: preconcert sessions and performances at the Centre for Newcomers

Last year was our first appearance at CFN— we are pleased to be able to see everyone again, as well as to meet more newcomers to Canada!

March 2019: preconcert sessions and performances at Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

A first for us! We are happy to collaborate with the folks at CIWA, and very much look forward to connecting with their community.

Late May 2019: performances at several Heartland Agency locations

Glad to return to Heartland Agency’s Signal Hill location, as well as to perform for the first time at their new Mayland Heights facility and their cornerstone daycare. It will be great to meet with so many children!

June 2019: FREE public concert at the new Central Library Performance Hall

Can’t wait for this! We’ll be presenting our new production: Grounder’s Grand Adventure, with Dohnanyi’s Serenade for string trio. It’s a brand new story about a Richardson’s ground squirrel who sets out to find his place in the world. The Serenade is lively, quirky, and lush— a fantastic piece of music for violin, viola and cello. Diane Lane, Olena Kilchyk and Samantha Whelan Kotkas join me (Liza Scriggins) for another mashup of stories and music, sure to enchant listeners of all ages. As always, we’ll follow the concert with an instrument petting zoo and a chance to meet the musicians.

We are extremely grateful for the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, who has so generously awarded us grants the last two seasons as well as this 2018-2019 season. Huge thanks also for the support of the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program, who not only funds many of our concerts, but also encourages us to run pre-concert sessions, so kids can connect with the music more in-depth.