Our 2023-2024 Season has concluded,
Thanks everyone for a fantastic year!

The summer BBQ is set for Sunday, July 28

We'll pick things up again in the fall, with the projected dates below;

Upcoming Concert Band Dates:

           OPEN HOUSE is September 9th, usually Tuesday the second week of September from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks.

Upcoming Jazz Band Dates: 

           OPEN HOUSE is September 10th, usually Wednesday the second week of September from 7:-00 - 8:30 PM at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks.

  • Kathie Van Lare, Concert Band Director (Since 2004)

    Born and raised in Calgary, Kathie has been teaching music in the Calgary area for over 30 years. She received her B. Mus (with Distinction) in Secondary School Music and a Diploma in Fine Arts (Wind Ensemble Conducting) from the University of Calgary.

    Now retired from full-time teaching, Kathie remains active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and trumpet clinician and has served on faculty with Musicamrose and the Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop. She is also current director for Westwind's Gold Jazz South Band in Calgary.

    Groups under Kathie's direction have been the recipients of numerous Gold Awards, 'Superior' ratings and other band festival trophies and has also been the recipient of several individual awards including the Alberta Band Association's Elkhorn Award as the Band Director of the Year as well as the ABA's Vondis Miller Legacy Award. She is a member of the Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity and was inducted as a Laureate in the John Philip Sousa Foundation's/Bandworld Legion of Honor. Kathie was recently honoured with the Women Band Directors International, “Scroll of Excellence”.

    As a trumpet player Kathie is active as a free-lance musician and has performed with many groups including among others, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Alberta Winds, Prime Time Big Band, Southern Stardust Big Band, and the Calgary Jazz Orchestra.

    Besides music, Kathie enjoys woodworking, horseback riding and is an avid baseball fan. Go Cardinals!

  • Martin Kennedy, Jazz Band Director

    Martin Kennedy is the Director of Bands at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks, Alberta. Originally from Eugene, Oregon (home of the Fighting Ducks!), he attended the University of Oregon where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education in 1981, and then returned to the University of Oregon to earn his Master of Clarinet Performance in 1986.

    Mr. Kennedy began his teaching career in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, where he taught for 13 years, building the band program at Ft. McMurray Composite High School, as well as the Northwinds Marching Band. During this period, he also performed frequently with Keyano College productions, where he performed with orchestras for Rich Little, George Fox and others.

    In 1995, Mr. Kennedy moved to Okotoks to build the band program at Holy Trinity Academy. During his tenure, the program has grown four fold, and the bands at HTA regularly receive ‘Excellent’ and ‘Superior’ ratings in festivals all across North America. His work at HTA led to his receiving the ‘Tommy Banks Award’ in 2007 for Jazz Education, and the Alberta Band Association ‘Elkhorn Award’ for Band Director of the Year in 2011. In 2012, he was honoured to receive the ‘David Peterkin Award’ for service towards Band Music from his peers in the Phi Beta Mu. In 2014, he was the recipient of the ‘George Lotzenheiser Award’ for Outstanding Band Conducting from the Calgary Kiwanis Festival.

    Mr. Kennedy was chosen to direct the Northern Alberta Honour Band in 2013.

    He continues to perform his clarinet in and around Okotoks and the Calgary region.

  • Community

    FMS has two performing ensembles: a concert band and a jazz band. Both bands are open to musicians 18 years and older.

    We are a group of dedicated adult musicians who love to learn and perform. We are passionate about instrumental music.

    Our members live in and around the Foothills region including Okotoks, High River, Nanton, Millarville, De Winton and Calgary.

  • History

    FMS was founded in 1993 to provide an opportunity for adults in the Foothills area to play music with focuses on education and recreation.

    The concert band was originally two bands (one beginner, one advanced) which were combined. The concert band now plays a wide variety of classical and contemporary music.

    The jazz band was formed in 2000 and performs a wide variety of repertoire focusing on big band standards, latin, and contemporary pieces.

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  • Our Governance

    Foothills Music Society is a registered non-profit society with an all-volunteer board elected annually by the membership. The Annual General Meeting is normally held during a Concert Band rehearsal in the fall session each year.

  • Funding

    FMS is dedicated to keeping membership fees low to keep music accessible. Funding comes from a mixture of membership fees and an AGLC licensed charitable casino held once approximately every 3 years. As the casino constitutes the bulk of funding members are expected to participate.

    The next casino will be Q1 2027.

Media Stories

Foothills Music Society returns seeking musicians, OkotoksToday, August 2022

Foothills Music Society to perform at Okotoks Walmart, OkotoksToday, July 2021

Foothills Music Society closes out season with concert, Okotoks Online, April 2014

Bands recognized for superior performance, Okotoks Western Wheel, March 2013

Holiday concert a bit out of the ordinary, Okotoks Western Wheel, December 2012

Concert bands unite for bombastic performance, Okotoks Western Wheel, March 2011