Musician: Stephen Lowery
Instrument: Alto Saxophone
Current School: From the Heart Christian School, 12th Grade
Stephen has been playing music since 2009 at school, and began playing for his church in 2010. He has always been good at playing by ear; however he developed the ability to read music when he started playing the saxophone in fifth grade and with a strong support system from other church musicians. He taught himself songs and memorized them. Stephen moved quickly from playing in his church’s children’s choir to the youth choir and adult choir orchestra. Playing in the church choir gave him the opportunity to read more challenging music, play by ear, and even write his own part. In the school orchestra, Stephen was given the opportunity to solo, improvise, and create harmony that wasn’t written in the music.
In 2015, Stephen had the opportunity to attend a rigorous one week saxophone camp at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. At this camp he learned techniques like flutter tongue, and played challenging music such as a Star Wars medley. It also helped him with counting difficult passages and soloing on various
pieces, specifically jazz. Also, in 2015 he attended FAME’s song writing workshop and the FAME music technology camp. Stephen said that “the camps exposed me to music outside of playing my specific instrument, and they helped me to be more creative with my instrument”.
My goal is to become a physical therapist, continue to play the saxophone and teach children how to play the saxophone. Participating in the FAME Jazz Band helps me to expand my knowledge of different types of music, outside of what I would usually play at my church. This training will help me reach my goal of expanding my skills and learning jazz. The more I learn, the more I can teach, and jazz includes skills that can be transferred to other types of music.
Playing in the FAME Jazz band has expanded my knowledge musically, and exposed me to a larger variety of music and musicians.