Palm Beach Symphony Names Instrumental Music Teacher of the Year
Wesley Lowe, Jr., director of instrumental arts at Kings Academy, has been named palm beach Symphonic Instrumental Music Teacher of the Year.
“In what may be a first, our winner was nominated by six different people who all praised his innovative approach and total commitment to his students,” said palm beach Symphony CEO David McClymont. “With a passion for developing his students into skilled musicians, Wes uses music as a vehicle to produce dynamic young leaders who will seek to make a positive impact on the community.”
A local native and alumnus of Kings Academy, Lowe was appointed as the school’s Director of Instrumental Arts in 2019 and has been recognized by the school with its Teacher Excellence Award and Bright Idea Award. The King’s Academy program has doubled in size thanks to its strategic planning and innovative performance opportunities, including the creation of a new curriculum that has extended the school’s instrumental music teaching to fourth graders .
Lowe was nationally recognized as a quarter-finalist for the 2022 Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum. He developed and leads a student jazz ensemble that received the Essentially Ellington Festival’s Excellence in Improvisation Award in 2018 and was named the competition award winner at the Atlanta Southern Star Music Festival in 2019. Similarly, the new band program he created is called The King’s Regiment. gaining national recognition through game day performances with the Miami Heat and Miami Marlins as well as in waltz disney World parades. Lowe’s students have gained further fame with the Symphony Band winning Grand Champion at the Atlanta Southern Star Music Festival in 2019 and the Middle and High School Concert Bands winning Top Sound Group honors at the Disney Festival in 2018.
Fueled by Lowe’s enthusiasm for music and grounded in the techniques he taught them, graduates of his program went on to study at such prestigious schools as the Eastman School of Music, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Indiana University, University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, New York University, Boston College, and Northeastern University, among others.
Lowe is a member of the National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Jazz Education Network, Florida Music Educators Association, and Florida Bandmasters Association. He holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from palm beach Atlantic University following the completion of an undergraduate degree in music education from Bob Jones University of Greenville, South Carolina.
The announcement was made during the fifth annual sold-out Holly Jolly Symphony Luncheon Party which raised $214,411 to support the Symphony Orchestra’s educational programming which has served more than 56,000 students in recent years and is a key of the Symphony Orchestra’s mission to serve palm beach Large and diverse county community.
The recognition comes with numerous educational opportunities for the winner’s students, including coaching sessions by palm beach Symphony musicians for spring semester music students, a classroom visit by Symphony Music Director Gerard Schwarz, free tickets to the winner’s classes to attend a palm beach Symphony concert and possibility for a student music ensemble of the winner’s choice to perform in a palm beach Symphonic event. Lowe also received an “indulgence basket” filled with gift items and gift certificates.
The annual award honors educators who demonstrate an ability to teach and inspire students as well as take an active role in the community as performing arts educators. Nominations will reopen in fall 2022 for K-12 educators in public, private and charter schools in palm beach Department with a minimum of three years of experience. Submissions that meet all of the eligibility requirements are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes musicians, industry professionals, and other educators in palm beach County.