Palmetto High School senior Neomi Lowe was recently accepted into the University of Central Florida. She was also accepted to Florida International University, but UCF is the top school on her list.
Lowe plans to major in hospitality management. Which school she ends up at depends on the financial package the schools offer.
Either school would be lucky to have her. Lowe is Palmetto’s Silver Knight nominee in Music and has earned almost 1,500 community service hours in her high school career. Many of those hours were earned while performing with the marching and the symphonic bands.
Lowe plays percussion and the xylophone in band. She plays the piano for fun. She also enjoys going to Palmetto Elementary and helping the band director.
“The kids are in second through fifth grade,” she says. “If they are having trouble with certain pieces of music, the band director tells me what they need to work on and I help them out.”
Lowe volunteers at Palmetto Elementary because that’s where she first joined a school band.
“My dad put me into piano lessons when I was four,” Lowe says. “The band director at Palmetto Elementary knew that I took piano. He asked me, ‘Why don’t you come over one day and check out the band.’ And I’ve been in band since I was in the second grade.”
Lowe plays the xylophone in the band because it is the same as piano.
“That is my main instrument and as a percussionist you have to know the other instruments,” she says. “As percussionists, we have to know more to be well rounded.”
She also plays the marimba, which she says is a bigger version of the xylophone.
“I’ve been playing marimba since my freshman year,” she says. “I have wheels so I know how to maneuver it around.”
Her best experience with the marching band is to enter a contest and win a superior for her work with percussion instruments. “We’re working hard to accomplish that goal as a section,” she says.
“We have to come together to work together instead of individually. As section leader, it’s my job to teach the other kids if they have trouble and to make sure our section is ahead of the game with the other sections.”
While she would love to play in band in college, she says she’s going to wait before trying out for band.
“Probably not my freshman year; once I settle down, probably in my sophomore or junior year,” she says. “I want to settle on my studies first and see if I have time for marching band.”
Outside of school, Lowe volunteers with Hands on Miami.
“We go around to different schools in Homestead or parks and we remodel, paint the school, garden and just make it a better environment for the school,” she says.
Lowe tried to participate in one Hands on Miami event each year. She has been a volunteer since she was in elementary school. These days
she participates in Relay for Life and she is a member of the Student Council, as well as Tri-M, the music honor society.
“I hold an honor position with each club,” she says, adding that she is one of three special events chairs for the Student Council.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld