Many students in the choral program at LSW know that Amy Krinke and Jacob Lowry are a team. For the last ten years, Krinke has been the head director of choirs and Lowry has been the associate director of choirs for the last four years. Things will be different this year however as Lowry will become the head choir director as Krinke takes a new position in the district.
Kylie Hayles, a senior at West who’s been in choir since her freshman year, said she thinks Lowry is ready for his new position and is passionate about what he does.
“I am very excited for him and for the choir department. Mr. Lowry does an amazing job bonding and getting to know all of the students in class and it is very obvious that he is passionate about what he does and he makes it fun for us too. Having him as the head director of choir is really going to help the department continue to grow and excel,” Hayles said.
Lowry and Krinke have both said that this really isn’t a change for them because they teach so similarly and essentially have the same job.
“The only thing that changes are the words in the title. Going from assistant vocal director to head vocal director. The job is not necessarily changing too much. I’m still going to be working with Mrs. Krinke in some capacity as well as working with our new hire. We just hired Mrs. Fischer going into next year and she will be teaching Men’s choir, Women’s choir, and she’ll be taking some of the academic music classes as well. She will also be teaching Freshman women’s choir with Mrs. Krinke,” Lowry said.
One of the main the differences between head vocal director and assistant vocal director there’s some logistics of the job and the financial aspect of it that can be different.
“It’s what we do in the office, as far as logistics, and things like that which we have different roles. Lowry is going to be taking on some new things like running the financial aspect of the program. The planning and implementation of everything and having that on his shoulders is going to be new for him,” Krinke said.
Lowry said that there will be a bit of a responsibility change that he currently doesn’t see being an associate director of choirs such as parents emailing Krinke first because they know her as the head vocal director. Lowry also said that there will be a learning curve for most of the student’s parents because they will still email Krinke first.
“I think the two positions are fairly even as far as the workload is concerned. The duties are just different. It’s more of a perception thing with the students and their parents. When auditions happen, they think that the head choral director is the one that makes all of the decisions. In reality, we both make all of the decisions together,” Krinke said.
Many of the choral students such as Hayles said that Lowry is good at what he does and he also knows how to lighten the mood and keep the students happy through rehearsals.
“My favorite thing about Mr. Lowry is that he always knows how to lighten the mood or bring a smile to everyone’s face. He really is just a big dorky teenager but with more credentials. He will get up on his podium and make a fool out of himself just so that we will take a proper breath or something small like that. He is also very caring and thoughtful. Personally, he is my go-to teacher when I am having a bad day or going through something tough,” Hayles said. Additionally, Lowry said he has many emotions going into next year.
Lowry said that next year definitely won’t be the same as every year but he is both nervous and excited. Lowry also said that it’s all of those things combined, it’s the fear of unknown but also the excitement of the unknown.
Krinke has advice for Lowry that she said she can also use for herself at her new position in the district. “In any transition, I think it’s important to learn the processes first and learn the way things are before going in and making massive changes and I expect that Lowry will probably just try and maintain the quality that’s been established here over the past 14 years and not really make big changes his first year. We’re very similar in our teaching styles and the things that we require our students to do and the expectations we ask our students to meet,” Krinke said.
Lowry said that he has learned a lot from Krinke over the last four years that he can take into account for his new position. Lowry also said that one of the best parts of this transition is that himself and the other choral students are not losing Krinke for good and that Krinke will leave a long lasting impact on the choral program. Moreover, Hayles said that the thing she’s most looking forward to next year is spending four to seven hours in the choir room each day building her relationships with Krinke and Lowry along with the new hire, Mrs. Fischer, and focusing on her passion of music.
“I definitely think Mr. Lowry is prepared for this position. He has been standing by the greatest music director in the district for the last four years so I think he is ready to follow in Krinke’s footsteps. I don’t think the department will be ran any differently just because of how close Krinke and Lowry are. They have the same ideas of greatness and he is willing to push himself passed his own limits if it would benefit his students and colleagues,” Hayles said.