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The Talon Tribune

The Talon Tribune

Courtney Dowling- Teacher by Day, Performer by Night!

Joylynn Boardman
Orchestra members (left to right) Willow Cahill, Jorah Foote, Hannah Crill, and Nehemiah Crill, celebrate Courtney Dowling by dressing as her for the day. Photo courtesy of Joylynn Boardman.

Courtney Dowling, the music director and orchestra teacher at Silver Creek High School, orchestrates a harmonious blend of teaching and musical pursuits. From her early days with piano lessons to navigating the challenges and accomplishments of cello performance and contributing to the Longmont Symphony, Dowling’s journey is a symphony in itself.

Dowling’s musical journey traces back to elementary school piano lessons, but it was in middle school that she found her true interest in music with the cello. Inspired by her teacher, she imagined a career as a cello performer and pursued it through her undergraduate studies.

Reflecting on her early music years, Dowling shares, “I picked the cello and stopped taking piano lessons. And then I got to high school, and I looked at that and thought, maybe this could be something viable to actually do.”

However, the solitude of practice rooms led her to a realization about her extroverted, outgoing personality and eventually steered her towards choosing teaching as a career path.

Teaching high schoolers became Dowling’s new passion, driven by her preference for the music they play and her fondness for their unique personalities. As she reflects on working with high schoolers, Dowling shares, “I liked that I can be myself, sarcastic, dry sense of humor. I don’t always have to be this chipper bubbly person.”

Dowling’s role as the director of Silver Creek High School’s music curriculum involves careful planning, focusing on important skills that students will learn over their four years. Summers are spent creating a diverse repertoire that is engaging for students while also adapting to their preferences and interests.

Despite an initial burnout, Dowling rekindled her love for music and found a way to put her performance skills to use with the Longmont Symphony about seven or eight years ago. While her earlier career aspirations aimed at performing in professional ensembles, she was able to discover fulfillment in her role playing the cello with the Longmont Symphony.

Juggling teaching and symphony commitments, Dowling shares insight into the intensity of her schedule during Longmont Symphony weeks. Dowling asserts this, saying, “In various Longmont Symphony weeks, we have four rehearsals. Each one’s about three hours, plus a concert.”

Despite some of the demands, she finds joy in balancing both roles of teaching and performing, while being able to keep some aspects of her cello performance roots alive.

Courtney Dowling’s journey is one of dedication, passion, and commitment. At Silver Creek High School, her influence extends beyond teaching notes to shaping the future of up-and-coming musicians. Dowling’s ability to balance teaching, performance, and curriculum planning highlights her dedication to the world of music education.

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About the Contributor
Jack Rissman, Staff Writer
Jack is currently a junior at Silver Creek High School. This is the first year he has taken Journalism, and is looking forward to utilizing and expanding his writing skills.  In his free time, he pursues his passions for skiing, mountain biking, camping with friends, and spending time with animals outdoors. Jack is looking forward to his time spent with the talon tribune and hopes he can help contribute some valuable literature.

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