Olivia Lowden spent an hour this weekend playing her harp for patients at a local hospital. Then she put on her running shoes and knocked out a couple of miles on a training run. She's also busy packing for a trip to Connecticut, where she landed a scholarship to attend a summer session at a prestigious boarding school. Not bad for a 14 year old from Reno.
Lowden learned the play the harp in third grade and uses her talent to brighten people's day at Renown Medical Center. Those passing by hear the music long before they reach the lobby, and everyone from doctors and nurses, to patients and their families pause to listen. "It's hard to be in a hospital, and the harp helps calm people down," said Lowden. The day I visited, she played everything from Edelweiss, to the theme from Titanic. And sure enough, people stopped.
A few weeks ago Lowden was training for the state track and field meet in Las Vegas. She and three other girls from Sage Ridge School make up the varsity 800 relay team and they ended up winning the event at State. "It was so exciting," says Lowden, "We worked so hard for it."
Summer will also be busy. Lowden is spending a month at Choate Rosemary Hall, a boarding school in Connecticut, where she'll study writing and film. The opportunity wasn't handed to her. "I had to get lots of recommendations and send in essays and I got a full scholarship, which was really exciting," she said. The students will also take day trips to Boston and New York.
But Nevada is home, and next year Lowden plans to continue playing her harp at the Healing Garden and run cross country at school. This month, she'll get to experience first-hand the heat and humidity on the east coast. Something we don't have to worry about in Nevada.