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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Award-winning harpist to perform

Rizpah Lowe, native of Detroit, will perform Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner. The concert, sponsored by the NE music department, is free to the public.  Photo courtesy Rizpah Lowe
Rizpah Lowe, native of Detroit, will perform Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner. The concert, sponsored by the NE music department, is free to the public. Photo courtesy Rizpah Lowe

By Gary Collins/ne news editor

Rizpah Lowe, native of Detroit, will perform Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner. The concert, sponsored by the NE music department, is free to the public.  Photo courtesy Rizpah Lowe
Rizpah Lowe, native of Detroit, will perform Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner. The concert, sponsored by the NE music department, is free to the public. Photo courtesy Rizpah Lowe

University of North Texas graduate and jazz harpist Rizpah Lowe will perform 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the NSTU Center Corner.

Lowe is an award-winning musician who recently won first place in the Lyon and Healy International Jazz and Pop Harp competition.

“ I had been preparing for this competition for 10 years,” she said. “The real reward ended up being the fact that I was recognized as being an ambassador for this great ancient instrument [harp].”

Lowe began her movement into music at 9.

“ I started taking private piano lessons and also took lessons on the Suzuki violin,” she said. “My piano playing helped me receive a scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp.”

Growing up in Michigan, she attended Cass Technical High School, a magnet school in Detroit.

“ It is one of America’s gems and best-kept secrets,” she said. “The original founders had the idea of having a conservatory-training setting in a public high school.”

While in high school, she found a passion for the harp.

“ It’s so soothing and unique,” she said. “ I just love the marriage between the discovery of what an ancient instrument can do along with the creative process.”

As much as she loves the harp, she is still a bit surprised to know that the harp is relatively unknown, especially in jazz music.

“ I just remember sitting behind the instrument and thinking to myself I’m gonna be good at this [playing the harp],” she said. “It’s been love at first sight, and I’m still in love with this incredible instrument.”

After graduating high school, she studied with Lucile Lawrence at the Tanglewood Institute in Lennox, Mass.

Lowe’s music has taken her across the U.S. She received an invitation to play at the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam. She has performed at North Park Center in Dallas and D’Vine Wines in Grapevine.

Lowe said her most recent accomplishment was being chosen to participate in and perform at the Betty Carter Jazz Institute at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Lowe credits the Cass Program for leading her in this current direction. Lowe said she has always been an advocate for education in music and is excited for the chance to play at TCC when invited.

Outside of music, Lowe has taken an interest in fashion design and some day would like to design her own clothing patterns while she continues to write and record.

With her passion for music and art, she wants to inspire others. And to those seeking a music career, she offered a few words of advice.

“ Keep your mind on what you really want, but to always help whenever you can,” she said. “This is an art, and art really needs life. So in other words, enjoy life and live your art.”

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