As the band director of Sampson Middle Schools, Vevlyn Lowe enjoys seeing musicians reach their full potential.
After taking a trip to Chicago in the winter, she returned with more innovative ways to help students reach the next level during the Midwest Clinic, the largest instrumental music conference in the world.
“Attending this conference (provided) me with an opportunity to learn more about the latest developments in instrumental music education, it will increase visibility for the Sampson Middle School Band program as well,” Lowe said.
Her trip was made possible through the Love of Learning Grant of Simple Gifts, a program supporting educational opportunities beyond the classroom. The conference host performances by ensembles, workshops, clinics and presentations by experts in music education. Trends for students and music educators are also addressed.
“I have attended several local and state music educators conferences during my career,” Lowe said. “All of them have been rewarding and valuable, however, I always hear other music educators say ‘you should go to Midwest.’”
Lowe expressed how the conference has a great reputation when it comes to music education.
“One of the reasons I have never attended is because our school professional development funds will not support a conference of this magnitude,” she said. “I want to experience Midwest firsthand to see what this unique conference has to offer.”
In addition to concerts, clinics, music reading sessions and hundreds of exhibits, the conference is also known for its professional development.
“I plan to maximize my time at Midwest and attend as many clinics, workshops, and programs as possible while gaining new ideas and valuable knowledge I can share with my students and colleagues,” she stated.
The Midwest Clinic also includes reading sessions for new music presentations. While glancing at a previous session, Lowe discovered that a band-piece she commissioned, titled “Night of the Dark Horse” was featured.
“I’m anxious to see if another new piece of music commissioned by our Sampson All-County Band will also be featured at Midwest this year,” she said. “While attending the new music sessions, I hope to hear some new pieces of music I want to share with my students and plan to purchase a few pieces to bring back to my students and share with them.”
Margaret Turlington, coordinator for Simple Gifts, enjoys how the grant program benefits students.
“These type of opportunities are so enriching to our educators,” Turlington said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.