Trumpeter Samantha Whelan Kotkas will perform with singer Walter MacDonald White Bear in RDSO’s Music from the Land, a cross-cultural video concert presentation. (Contributed photo).

Trumpeter Samantha Whelan Kotkas will perform with singer Walter MacDonald White Bear in RDSO’s Music from the Land, a cross-cultural video concert presentation. (Contributed photo).

Indigenous and classical music meld beautifully in latest RDSO virtual concert presentation

Cree musician joins RDSO trumpeter for Music from the Land concert

She plays classical trumpet. He plays the Indigenous flute, rattle and drum.

Together, trumpet-player Samantha Whelan Kotkas and Cree singer-songwriter-musician Walter MacDonald White Bear show that vastly different musical traditions can come together to create a fascinating listening experience in the latest presentation from the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

Music from the Land is a family-friendly, cross-cultural video concert that can be watched for free on RDSO’s website, www.rdso.ca.

The two Calgary-based musicians will take listeners on a virtual exploration of how music is inspired by the natural world in both classical and Indigenous musical traditions.

It’s a way of bridging musical forms and cultures and a way of attempting Truth and Reconciliation, said White Bear.

“We might have a different dialect, but we speak the same musical language,” added Kotkas, who has a Master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Houston.

White Bear has a philosophy degree and nearly 30 years of gathered experience through performing at various drum circles and Indigenous ceremonies, and learning music traditions from Elders of different First Nations.

“We’re hoping to send a positive message with what we do to kids,” explained White Bear, who has been touring with Kotkas to schools and concert halls as part of a National Arts Centre program for the past six years.

Related:

-RDSO presents a virtual Schubert concert

Their RDSO performance, produced by local videographer, Harley Hay Studios, shows that two vastly different musical styles can go together like cheese and crackers.

“We’re quite a combo,” said White Bear, who enjoys the creative energy that’s sparked by his collaborations with the trumpeter.

Music from the Land features various solos and duets. The two musicians perform largely original compositions or improvisations — although a Vivaldi piccolo concerto is also on the program (with piano arrangement by RDSO’s multi-talented music director Claude Lapalme.)

Kotkas, who has performed regularly with the RDSO for 23 years, believes audiences like it well enough when she and White Bear play solos — but really recognize something special when they play together. “That’s when the kids stand and cheer and give us standing ovations.”

The Share the Land concert can be heard all year on the RDSO’s website.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Cowboy Kicks, originally scheduled for May 5, will now take place Sept. 18. (Contributed photo)
Westerner Park’s Cowboy Kicks fundraiser moved to Sept. 18

A major fundraiser for Westerner Park and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell tries to tip a point shot past Lethbridge Hurricanes goalie Car Tetachuk in WHL action Friday night at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels struggles continue, drop seventh straight to Hurricanes

Hurricanes score three power-play goals in 6-3 win

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Ediburgh, left, look on as Manitoba Beaver peaks out of his box at a July 14, 1970 ceremony in which Hudson's Bay Company observed an old tradition. The death of Prince Philip has reminded a small French village in Manitoban about how a royal visit half a century ago made the community the centre of frog racing in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Prince Philip’s frog-jumping legacy in a Manitoba French community

WINNIPEG — The death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has reminded… Continue reading

The Yukon provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. Yukon residents will head to the polls on Monday for Canada's fourth election held during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon residents set to vote in fourth election held in Canada during pandemic

WHITEHORSE — Yukon residents will head to the polls on Monday for… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole, former PM Harper speak on ‘build back right’ for pandemic recovery

OTTAWA — Top Tory leaders of the past and present will speak… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals set to debate universal basic income, pharmacare, OAS hike

OTTAWA — Grassroots Liberals have taken up Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call… Continue reading

Students enter the Pierre Laporte Secondary School as secondary school students return to class full time during the COVID-19 pandemic in Montreal, Monday, March 29, 2021. Pandemic-fuelled frustration has some teens expressing anger in unhealthy ways after a year of missed social connections that would typically help them mature and regulate their emotions, says a psychiatrist calling for more education on coping skills as part of the school curriculum. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Teach students coping skills to deal with anger, including during pandemic: doctor

Pandemic-fuelled frustration has some teens expressing anger in unhealthy ways after a… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

jobs - T - 3-6-2020
Finding a job: 3 job search truisms you need to accept

A job search has many moving parts; your mindset is the most… Continue reading

Most Read