Adam Levowitz '87 - A World of Music
At HKIS Adam Levowitz ’87 discovered music and the love of his life. DragonTales finds out more...
Adam Levowitz ’87 arrived in Hong Kong from Houston, Texas in 1983 -- the summer after his 8th grade year. He had always been musical -- taken piano lessons, sung in choirs and been part of musical shows, but it was at HKIS that he really started to take music seriously.
"My teachers were a huge influence on me - Bill Kuhn was the Choir Director and became a mentor and friend. Debbie Gibbs was the Drama Director and was very important.”
In the summer after 9th grade, Adam taught himself to play the trumpet. When he returned to school that fall, he was placed in the advanced band grouping.
Little could he have known, but his efforts over the summer to learn the trumpet would pay off in a different way. For on his very first day in the advanced band class he met Janet Dressler, who would later become his wife.
The couple dated all through HKIS and married in 1992, and today have two children, Max (14) and Samantha (10).
Adam’s Band Director at HKIS was Stuart Bonner. It was he who gave Adam his first professional break, playing trumpet in the pit orchestra for the American Community Theater in the show Sweet Charity.
"I was playing third trumpet and was really struggling to keep up with two other terrific players. Remember, I had only been playing trumpet for 10 months.”
Yet later that year, Mr. Bonner had Adam conduct the band at school. “I was totally clueless! I vividly remember seeing Leah Boggs ’86 at the back of the room on the drum set showing me how to move my hands to lead the band.”
In 11th grade, Adam became the unofficial assistant to Bill Kuhn. When Bill returned to the US during the school year to visit his ill mother, Adam ended up teaching his 7th and 8th grade chorus class.
Bill also provided Adam with many opportunities to play professionally, hiring him to play in the Church of All Nations at different meetings and functions.
Upon graduating from HKIS, Adam returned to the US to attend college and studied a degree in music. He then moved to New York and worked as a music director for off-Broadway and regional theater.
From here he moved to be the Artistic and Music Director for a non-profit arts organization outside Houston, Texas for about four years, where we produced concerts, musicals & operas.”
Adam then spent ten years working as a music teacher and band/choir director, and then two years in a Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. “So there I was, a Jewish music teacher in a Catholic School in a Mormon State,” he smiles.
Every year since 2001, Adam has produced a concert called Now Come The Names - a tribute to the victims of September 11.
"This features two pieces I composed in November 2001. Now Come The Names is a choral piece based on a few lines from a speech President George W. Bush gave at the National Prayer service a few days after the attacks. The other is a setting of all four verses of the Star Spangled Banner. Both pieces are on my website.”
A few years back, Adam joined the US Army as a trumpet player with the 257th Army Band in Washington, DC. The highlight was playing for President Barack Obama at the Southern States Ball in January 2009, which was quite a thrill and an honor.”
"I even did ten weeks of regular Army Basic Combat Training (Boot Camp) with guys half my age (I turned 41 in November). It was a challenge, but I enjoyed it. The training is the same regardless of your job. I was toe-to-toe with young men who are destined for combat zones.”
Today he is teaching choir and AP Music Theory at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology outside Washington, DC.
The school was rated number one in the country three years in a row by US World News.
"We are singing at Carnegie Hall next week which includes the world premiere performance of a new choral piece I composed called Magnificent,” Adam says proudly.
Adam keeps in touch with Debbie Gibbs, Bill & Kris Kuhn - through Facebook. He hears from many people from the class of 1987 and recently made contact with Jeanette Black. “Of course, I am married to Janet Dressler and her sister Ann was at HKIS.”
Contact Adam at:
email@example.com or visit his website: http://maxamgroup.org
Source: DragonTales Volume 13 Summer Edition 2010