Scott Whetham



Photo by: Marc J Chalifoux Photography, 2013.

Scott Whetham is Principal Tuba with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and has always enjoyed the orchestra’s varied schedule of symphonic, opera and ballet repertoire, extending further into rock, jazz, and film. Scott has appeared with the ESO as soloist in the concertos of John Williams and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and in solo works by Alec Wilder and jazz composer/arranger Jeff Tyzik. Personal highlights with the ESO include the ‘Northern Lights Tour’ (Alberta and Yukon), moving into the new Winspear Centre for Music, and performing at Carnegie Hall during the orchestra’s 60th anniversary year.

Scott has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony, Royal Canadian Artillery Band (RCA), the National Ballet of Canada, the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Ballet, and Broadway's touring (Vancouver) production of Annie. His tuba sound can be heard on the numerous Edmonton Symphony recordings, with The Edmonton Wind Ensemble; Albertasaurus Tuba Quartet; the Tarragon Tea Orchestra, and pop star Olivia Newton-John. Outside of the classical field, he has enjoyed performing with singer/song-writer Andrea House, jazz musician David Braid, in Edmonton FRINGE Festival productions, and at Edmonton’s Yardbird Suite.

Since moving to Alberta, Scott has taught hundreds of students, from private lessons to summer music camps to school workshops. Other teaching has included the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, the Banff International Festival of Youth Orchestras, Guest Lecturer – The University of Saskatoon; Mount Royal College – Calgary, and a long association with MusiCamrose (now Musicamp Alberta). Academic positions have included the University of Alberta – Department of Music, and the University of Regina – Dept. of Music. He is currently on the Faculty at King's University.

In the 1980s, Scott formed the ‘Tubas of Edmonton’, a longstanding tuba and euphonium ensemble of amateur players who perform annually in the Winspear foyer. In 1995, he founded the Mill Creek Colliery Band – a 25-piece British style brass band. In recent years, he has been attending sessions at the Brass Band Summer School in the U.K.

Scott is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and has been featured in broadcasts on the CBC as performer and composer. His music has been performed in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary; at ITEC 2000 (Regina); 2008 ITG (Trumpet Conference, Banff); University of Prince Edward Island; and the International Women's Brass Conference (2010 IWBC, Toronto).

Apart from the Three B’s, not many symphony musicians can be pinned down to name a favourite composer. Scott leans toward the British Pastoral School, the Russians, the Scandinavians, Bartok, Debussy, Hindemith, Sibelius, and Varèse. He has a bad habit of passing over the Baroque in favour of the Renaissance. Favourite chamber works include the Schubert Octet, Mozart’s G minor Piano Quartet, and Brahms’ Horn Trio.

Scott began playing tuba in the North Vancouver Youth Band, under the direction of Arthur Smith. He studied formally with Dennis Miller (Vancouver Symphony). Lessons with Arnold Jacobs, Roger Bobo, Richard Erb (trombone) and Christopher Leuba (horn) were additionally inspiring. Further training included the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and studies at the Eastman School of Music. Away from the ESO, Scott performs with the Tarragon Tea Orchestra (a European-style salon orchestra) and Bass Line Road (a modern music ensemble).

Scott is a deltiologist (postcard collector), plays drums in a basement band, likes camping in Alberta, and enjoys a biking (carless) lifestyle.