Childhood in Saskatoon:
Julia Rooney (Kot) was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and grew up there until she was 11 years old. Julia was drawn to music at an early age, starting piano lessons after asking for a piano for her fifth birthday. Her love of playing and singing at the same time led her to join a choir and start singing lessons at the age of 7. Julia competed and won many first and second awards in the Saskatoon Kinsmen Music Festival in Classical Voice, Musical Theatre, and Piano. She also took RCM exams in Voice, Piano, and Theory. In addition to other teachers, Julia studied voice with Janice Paterson and piano with Rodney Epp. Julia also enjoyed singing in the holiday choir at her elementary school, Greystone Heights. Her first experience in a full-scale musical was in Saskatoon Gateway Players' production of Oklahoma! in which Julia had a silent role as Laurie's cousin with a vocal solo at the beginning and ending of the show. Julia's father, Brian Kot, is from Regina, and many of Julia's family members on her father's and mother's sides (aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandma) live in Regina, so she visits there a fair bit. Julia enjoys wandering the Wascana Park Pathways of Regina and Meewasin Trail near the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon and is always up for a trip to the beach at Waskesiu and Regina Beach.
Adolescence in Calgary:
At the age of 11, Julia Rooney (Kot) moved with her family to Calgary, Alberta. Julia attended Elbow Park School, Ecole Elboya, and Western Canada High School where she sang in the Festival Chorus, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Singers and graduated with certificates in French Immersion and Performing Arts Achievement as well as Honours. She studied singing with Dawn Johnson and piano with Ariana Rodriguez at the Mount Royal College Conservatory (now University). Julia competed and won many scholarships in Classical Voice and Musical Theatre from the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival (now Calgary Performing Arts Festival). She appeared twice in the Calgary Stampede Youth Talent Showdown (now Talent Search) and performed solo sets several times around the Stampede Grounds as well as at Heritage Park's 12 Days of Christmas. Julia also sang at St. Anthony's Parish where her family members attend. She worked at the Calgary Stampede in Buckaroos for 5 years as well as at Rooney, Cronin, Valentine for one summer. At the Glencoe Club, Julia enjoyed swimming and lifesaving training as well as tennis lessons. When Julia visits Calgary, she enjoys hiking and skiing in the Rockies, biking around the reservoir, walking Elbow River pathways, and exploring 17th Ave and 4th Street, with her family and friends.