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  Biographies
Mark Lennon
Mark Lennon, Artistic Director
Mark Lennon received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from the University of Victoria in 1987 and his Master of Trumpet performance degree from Northwestern University in Chicago in 1990. Since 1991 Mark has been an active freelance musician, private music instructor and conductor in Calgary Alberta. Mark began with Altius Brass, as part of the trumpet section, from its inception in 1995, and since 2001 has been acting as Artistic Director and Conductor.
Joanne Allers
Joanne Allers, Trumpet
Joanne Allers’ background as an Edmonton Public School Board music teacher, and subsequent trumpet studies at Northwestern University and Northern Illinois University merged into her current work of maintaining a trumpet and piano studio as well as early childhood and elementary aged group music classes. Her energy and creativity for teaching young students is supported through a variety of activities, including performing with Altius Brass, teaching band clinics, and free-lance work.
Helen Cotter
Helen Cotter, Trumpet
Helen Cotter moved to Calgary from her native Australia in 1993 after completing a Masters in Trumpet Performance degree at Northwestern University in Chicago. Since then she has been an active member of the Calgary freelance music scene, including playing Principal Trumpet with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and being an extra musician with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She was one of the original founders of Altius Brass in 1995 and enjoys specializing on natural trumpet.
Debra Firmston
Debra Firmston, Trumpet
Debra is a freelance musician and teacher who holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Music degree from Mt. Allison University, NB. She has enjoyed playing with Altius Brass for over 3 years, in addition to other Calgary ensembles, including Alberta Winds and Cascade Brass Quintet.
Kirk Linton
Kirk Linton, Trumpet
Kirk Linton is a music educator and trumpet player in the Calgary area. Kirk holds a Bachelor degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Western Ontario where he won the Don Wright Award for Instrumental Music Education. Kirk has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and has been a member of the Alberta Winds and Altius Brass for the past three years.
Richard Scholz
Richard Scholz, Trumpet
Richard Scholz has been a professional trumpet player and educator in the Calgary area for the past 16 years. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary. Richard has been performing with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995. He has also played with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra and the Regina Symphony Orchestra. He is currently a member of several chamber groups including Altius Brass, Bow Valley Brass Quintet and the Northern Lights Brass Quintet.
Samantha Whelan Kotkas
Samantha Whelan Kotkas, Trumpet
Born in Canada, raised in Africa and educated in Calgary and Houston, Samantha has spent a lifetime playing the trumpet and telling stories. Since receiving her Masters degree in trumpet performance from the University of Houston she has been combining her love of music and education Alberta. Samantha works as an artist in residence in many elementary schools and enjoys performing her rocky mountain fairy tales throughout Alberta with groups such as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She plays second trumpet in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Heidi Barrett
Heidi Barrett, Horn
Heidi Barrett studied horn at Mount Royal College and the University of Calgary. She is an active freelance musician in Calgary playing mainly with Altius Brass, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, and Alberta Winds. Heidi is also an aspiring member of the Calgary Police Service.
David Caswell
David Caswell, Horn
David Caswell was born and raised in Calgary. He studied in Chicago with such greats as Gail Williams, Dale Clevenger and Arnold Jacobs. David is currently an unofficial member of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Christine Steller
Christine Steller, Euphonium
Christine holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance on euphonium from the University of Calgary. She spent 8 years in the Canadian Forces reserves as a musician, playing in the Band of the Ceremonial Guards as well as in local reserve bands. She currently plays in the Alberta Winds as well as with Altius Brass.
Mark Harding
Mark Harding, Trombone
Mark Harding began his musical studies by playing trombone duets with his Father. At the University of Calgary he managed to graduate in 1983 having earned a BSc in Computer Science with a minor in Music. Mark has played with the Calgary Civic Symphony, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. When not playing the trombone or spending time with his family, Mark works as a systems analyst for Shell Canada.
Greg Robertson
Greg Robertson, Bass Trombone
Greg Robertson received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary in 1998. He has since worked with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, Alberta Ballet, and several operas including performing on bagpipes in “Filumena” by John Estacio. Greg works as a technologist for an engineering company in Calgary.
Neil James
Neil James, Tuba
Neil James has played tuba in Calgary and area for 35 years in groups ranging from the Calgary Youth Orchestra to the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra with stops along the way in groups such as the HMCS Tecumseh Naval Reserve band. Educated at the University of Calgary Neil received a MSc in Chemical Engineering before realizing that he liked programming computers more.
Mar James
Mar James, Timpani
Mar found her love of music in Lethbridge, joining the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra and various classical, jazz and vocal groups throughout her education including the National Youth Choir. Moving eastward, she played with Symphony New Brunswick, many military bands and freelanced before moving back to Alberta. She is a member of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and the HMCS TECUMSEH Naval Band. As a CGA, she coaches other accountants in software and spends her best time with her family.
George Langley
George Langley, Percussion
George Langley grew up in St. Thomas ON, and studied Percussion at the University of Western Ontario. George is currently a Master Warrant Officer in the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Band, the organist at All Saints’ Traditional Anglican Church, and a multimedia developer and audio/video editor. He is married with 3 children and enjoys model railroading, cooking, hockey and science fiction.