Conservatory connects to community

We've all used guidebooks, maps and compasses when hiking in the Rocky Mountains, but have you ever heard of a musical guide to the Rockies? That is what creator (and Calgary native) Samantha Whelan-Kotkas has produced.

Through the University of Lethbridge's Feel the Beat concert series, Lethbridge audiences will get an opportunity to take part in the experience.

"After the success of the original Rocky Mountain Fairytales, presented as part of the U of L Conservatory of Music's Feel the Beat concert series in 2008, we knew her More Rocky Mountain Fairytales would also be a hit," says Breeanne Fuller, Conservatory co-ordinator.

Whelan-Kotkas is doing four concerts in Lethbridge on May 17 and 18 at 10 a.m. and noon each day. Tickets are still available for the noon shows at Southminster United Church.

Children of all ages are sure to enjoy the chamber jazz music performed by U of L music professor Dr. David Renter and local musicians Scott Mezei and Paul Holden in conjunction with some of Canada's finest jazz musicians, including composer Tyler Hornby and pianist Chris Andrew from Edmonton.

"The Feel the Beat series offers free concerts year round for children, providing opportunities to hear and see classical music performed live," explains Fuller. "Our programs are age appropriate, relatively short and always free."

Supported by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Feel the Beat is enjoying its third successful season.

"More Rocky Mountain Fairytales showcases jazz music, and as an educational music school in this community, it's important to show young children that jazz music owes a great deal of its legacy to the classical tradition. Duke Ellington, for example, loved classical music," she says.

"Families of all ages are invited to the concert. Although admission is free, seats must be reserved before the show," adds Fuller.

Seats can be reserved by calling 403-329-2304.

For a look at the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.