Award-winning, professional storyteller, Katie Ross, and her talented musician husband, Otto, present entertaining and interactive programs weaving stories and music together. They call their duo Stories by the Score. Katie invites the audience into a new world with her animated style. Otto’s music, whether it be on the accordion, banjo or guitar, makes folks feel like singing along or clapping to the beat. It is just what Katie and Otto want: to actively engage their audience members by offering them an opportunity to be part of the program rather than mere observers.
Since Katie was a Spanish/French teacher before she retired, she likes to tell multicultural tales. Katie often teaches Spanish or French vocabulary within the context of the story and shares part of the culture of a given country as well. Otto then adds a musical component by playing songs from the place the story is about. Katie and Otto have a passion for presenting inspirational and Biblical programs as well. The couple also specializes in personal, Appalachian/ West Virginian, Celtic, thematic, and tall tales. They tailor the presentations to the needs of the organization who has invited them to share. Katie and Otto take into account the ages, interests, and the composition of the audience members as well as the theme of the program. They have performed from very young audiences to very senior ones in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Their venues include: Allegany Arts Council, campgrounds, churches, festivals, schools, special events, retreats, civic organizations, libraries, and many more. The two have also branched out to giving various storytelling workshops in several of the above-mentioned states.
An interesting fact: Katie lies well enough to have won first place “Best Liar” award two times at the Tall Tales and Liars’ Festival held in Oakland, Maryland a few years back. She also came in second place in the National Storyteller of the Year contest sponsored by the Creative Arts Institute in Ohio in 2005.
Katie and Otto both are retired school teachers although Otto still teaches one math class at Allegany College of Maryland. The two live just over the Potomac River in Mineral County, WV.