Written by Jenna Knaupp
Within any extracurricular group, club, activity, or class at our school, you will always find leaders. These people are the glue of the community. They are the individuals who go the extra mile; who put in the most time, work, and effort, all while encouraging others to do the same. Sometimes they are recognized, and sometimes they are not. These spotlights are not necessarily to glorify their achievements, but rather to gain knowledge from their thoughts, insights, and experiences.
This edition’s spotlight is Shayne Lowry. (Click here to view the previous editions’ spotlight on Matthew Anderson!)
When Shayne Lowry is creating or experiencing music, “nothing else matters.” Lowry has always lived (and continues to live) a musical life. It began with singing when he was enrolled in a preschool devoted to music. Despite his youth, he already understood the basics of music theory. “I knew everything, and I [became] obnoxious” he sheepishly admitted. With a penchant for music as clear as Lowry’s, one can only assume that he would continue to seriously study music. Although music has “always been there,” Lowry can remember a time when he experienced a disconnect from his otherwise healthy relationship with music. He had been taking piano lessons for several years, but the negative environment of junior high school stunted his progression: “I told myself I that I hated it…I wanted to be cool,” he openly confessed. Luckily, Lowry soon realized that the study of music is priceless when compared to supposed popularity.
After overcoming his insecurity about the piano, Lowry fully embraced music. He spent an entire school year (in addition to practicing outside of school) conversing and singing with music teachers, in preparation to enroll in a choir. (A class which he was unable to take due to a full course load.) On his first day of choir, he recounted: “I remember actually stopping, in the doorway, and [thinking]: this is the beginning.” Since that moment, Lowry has never looked back.
Though only a freshman, Lowry is an active and influential participant in Forest Grove High School’s music program. He is a member of two audition-only choirs and a band percussionist, and continuously marvels over the impact of music in his life. Something about music puts him in a trance; “being one with an instrument,” he says, helps him be “more in tune with emotions.” Becoming completely and willingly lost in a musical moment “is [like] a therapy session.” Without music, Lowry claims that he “wouldn’t be in the place [he] is now.” With music, Lowry firmly believes that “there are some things that [he] can [better] understand.” That “understanding” may be difficult to comprehend, but Lowry encourages everyone to ignore their feelings of inadequacy or inexperience and give music a chance. He admits that “you [do] have to be willing to put yourself out there,” but once you do, you’ll soon understand why so many people are drawn to music. Like Lowry, you’ll never regret having music in your life.