Gardner-Webb University Orchestra Concert Features Symphony Premiere

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Student and Veteran Musician/Writer Roger Lowe’s Work Will Be Shared

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The School of Performing and Visual Arts presented a Gardner-Webb University Orchestra Concert, featuring the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 by GWU student Roger Lowe on Monday, April 29 at 8 p.m. in the Kathleen Dover Theatre, located in the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center.  Lowe, returned to college in 2010 to finish a degree in Music Composition he first began in 1979.

Lowe’s arrangement draws on a lifetime of musical experience that combines a love of symphonic music that dates back to a childhood record player and a few classical albums, as well as his experience in classical, pop and rock, church, choral, instrumental, and formal training.  Writing the symphony completed his desire to compose something musically challenging, yet enjoyable to the ear.

“Writing a symphony is one of those things usually so far out of reach as to not even be considered.  After trying to imitate the sound of an orchestra using keyboards to score a movie, and being privileged to take composition lessons, advanced theory, orchestration, and so on, this began to seem possible,” said Lowe.

“It is a great symphony and the orchestra really loves it,” remarked Dr. Patricia Sparti, Music Department Chair and Conductor for the premiere.

After Lowe left GWU, his talents offered him opportunities to tour the United States and Canada in the early 80’s playing keyboards in Christian rock bands.  He spent the years afterward as a church organist and choir accompanist at a number of churches in North Carolina.  During this time, Lowe also arranged hymns and wrote choir pieces.  He currently serves as the organist at Boiling Springs (N.C.) Baptist Church.

Lowe has a Gardner-Webb connection that goes way back even prior to his first time there as a student.  His paternal grandmother and several aunts and uncles all graduated from the University.  Dr. Linda Greene, his childhood sweetheart, who became his wife, works for the University as associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling.  He also has a friendship with Dr. Doug Bryan, associate provost of academic development at GWU.  The two have collaborated  on several music projects, including GWU’s centennial anthem “Born From A Dream” (2005).

Students Hannah Blalock, harpist, and Merritt Huff, flute, also contributed significant roles in the concert. This event was free and open to the public and was followed by a reception in Lowe’s honor.

More information about the School of Performing and Visual Arts – music division, including this event are available at 704-406-4448 or by emailing Dr. Patricia Sparti, music director, at

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).