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Going for the gold(s)

Dow achieves three golds at ISSMA competition, reflects on band experience

PRACTICE+MAKES+PERFECT%3A+Senior+Luke+Dow+practices+his+piece+on+the+marimba.+This+is+one+of+the+three+instruments+that+Dow+performed+on+at+the+2018+ISSMA+State+competition.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Senior Luke Dow practices his piece on the marimba. This is one of the three instruments that Dow performed on at the 2018 ISSMA State competition.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Senior Luke Dow practices his piece on the marimba. This is one of the three instruments that Dow performed on at the 2018 ISSMA State competition.

Photo by Meghan Looney

Photo by Meghan Looney

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Senior Luke Dow practices his piece on the marimba. This is one of the three instruments that Dow performed on at the 2018 ISSMA State competition.

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Getting a gold at ISSMA is no easy task. Earning that award requires practice, talent and focus during the performance before the judge. Some particularly musical students often opt into competing in two separate instruments for the competition, but for senior Luke Dow, even that wasn’t enough.

Dow signed up for Group 1 piano, snare drum and marimba performances and earned a gold rating in all three, making him the first Roncalli student to earn such a rating in three separate categories. Group 1 is the only division of ISSMA that can move onto state, requiring participants to memorize more challenging songs from a list.

Dow’s family instilled a love for the musical arts within him and his older sister very early on in their lives. The diversity of instruments playing in their home ranges everywhere from percussion to string.

“I’ve been playing piano for thirteen years and snare drum and marimba for six,” Dow said.

These, among a few other percussion instruments including timpani, drum set and quads, are Dow’s specialty.

Dow did not come from one of the South Deanery  grade schools, instead graduating from Doe Creek Middle School in New Palestine, so coming to Roncalli was a challenge.

“I met many of my first friends though band,” Dow said. “And [band director and teacher] Ms. [Kathy] Peach is one of the most loving people I know.”

Dow became a familiar face in the band room, and could often be seen practicing pieces on various instruments after school. This dedication, work ethic and passion for music is one of the factors that earned him the position of section leader for the drumline. Dow worked in close junction with the drum majors, seniors Jeffrey Amodeo and Adam Wolf to ensure smooth performances all season.

“Since [Dow] was the section leader for drum line, we relied on each other [a lot],” Wolf said. “He was who I looked to if the tempo was off or if something needed to be changed.”

Dow’s leadership and dedication was felt by Peach as well.

“[Dow] cares a lot, he is very loyal, hard working,” Peach said. “He leads by example and does a great job.”

In the weeks leading up to his stellar ISSMA performance, Dow prepared tirelessly.

“For piano, I already learned the solo in a previous year and it was one of the [options] for Group 1,” Dow said. “For snare, I would set up my practice pad and spend an hour each day practicing my solo, and… I would stay after school and practice on the schools marimba for four hours a week.”

Dow plans to continue his musical career in college, with the idea of trying out for Purdue University’s marching band drumline. This is in conjunction with his plans to study physics after high school.

“It is never easy to say goodbye,” Peach said. “I think we have all enjoyed having [Dow].”

Wherever the road leads, Dow has given a lot to the Roncalli band community through his leadership and immense talent and will be missed as they wish him well.

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Going for the gold(s)