Kenneth Lowe chose singing over blocking to help pay his way through college.

Kenneth Lowe chose music over football
Kenneth Lowe chose music over football

Kenneth Lowe was an all-league football player in high school who came to OSU as a walk-on, but quickly showed he was good enough to earn a scholarship–in music.

Kenneth participated in football and track, as well as music, at Grant High School in Portland. When it was time to choose a college, he opted for music over football selecting OSU and turning down several small college football offers.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve been singing,” says the senior music major, who grew up in a low-income, single-parent family. “I sang in church choirs when I was young, and in the 5th grade I was in the Portland Children’s Opera version of Carmen.”

Even though neither of his parents graduated from college, Kenneth knew it was important for him. “I knew college would give me more opportunities for my life,” he says. “I saw the struggles of a lot of family and friends who didn’t go to college.”

Participating in the OSU choirs has broadened Kenneth’s life experiences. “I’ve been to Europe twice with the choirs, and to Canada and Mexico,” he says. “These are things I’d never have gotten to do otherwise.” Opera is still in his life as well, and he recently participated in a Corvallis production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte.

At OSU, Kenneth works closely with Steven Zielke, director of choral studies, and Richard Poppino, director of vocal studies. He credits them with helping him through the transition to college and keeping him on the track toward graduation.

The importance of music in his life is reflected in how he spends his free time: participating in Outspoken, an a cappella male ensemble organized and led by students. “We do popular songs and have a chance to compete with groups from other colleges. It’s kind of a release–a getaway.”

OSU Department of Music website

Steven Zielke’s web page

Richard Poppino’s web page

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