Executive Director of Operations & Finance
Penny was born and raised in California in a musical family. She performed on stage for the first time at age 4. Penny was involved in choir, band and orchestra in school. She continued performing into her 20’s when raising her daughters became a priority. She operated her own successful business in McAllen, Texas for over 20 years before relocating to San Antonio.
During her years in business she produced fundraisers for local charities. She raised her three daughters in the Rio Grande Valley where the girls were all members of the concert choir at PSJA High School. As a choir mom Penny was involved in student trips and fundraisers. She also worked diligently with Karate Kids of America.
In 1996 Penny made a career change and joined a company producing music festivals and student tours. This was the job she was meant to do as it involved her two loves – music and children. She has spent the last 20 years involved in all aspects of festival production and event planning and the last 11 years producing high quality, educational and enriching custom student tours for her clients.
Penny has traveled extensively across the United States, living on the West coast, East coast , and Hawaii for 5 years. She moved to Texas from Hawaii in 1974. She has traveled to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Penny and her husband Lynn and daughter Shannon founded Southern Star Tour and Travel in 2009 which has allowed them to produce events and tours with the directors and students as their priorities. Over the years they have learned that producing these events is not just a business, but a close partnership with their clients.
Executive Director, Client Liaison, and
Organizational Planning and Design Specialist
Shannon was born in Honolulu Hawaii, but has made South Texas her home since early childhood. Traveling in high school with her choir, she came to love the idea of creating those same kind of memories for school students in all areas of academics, sports, drama, and music. She has over 18 years of experience in the student tour and travel and music festival industry and has recently moved into the Executive Director/Client Liaison position in the company she helped build with Penny and Lynn Low.
Shannon has served as Souther Star Tour and Travel’s Organizational Planning and Design Specialist, Client Liaison, and Tour Escort since its opening in 2009. She holds an Associates of Arts in Business, a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing, and graduated with honors with her Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Her experience and education combine to create a solid relationship between Southern Star Tour and Travel and its clients that is built on trust, hard work, and delivering services at the highest level while keeping the focus on giving students travel experiences that are both enriching and fun.
Active Tour and Music Performance. Festival, and Clinic Consultant
Retired Executive Director and Client Liason
Mr. Low is currently acting as a consultant for Southern Star Tour and Travel. He recently retired from his position as the Executive Director to step into a consulting position where he will concentrate on seeking out and creating the best performance, competition, festival, and clinic opportunities for those groups that choose to travel with Souther Star. He has over 28 years of experience in the student tour and travel and music festival industry. After spending 26 years as a Texas high school band director he understands the needs of teachers and music directors related to group travel. He has been involved in planning music contest and festival events since 1968. For many years he served as his own travel agent for travel with his own bands. Lynn’s bands were consistent sweepstakes winners and named Best in Class at many music festivals across the country.
Lynn has been active in Texas Music Educators having served as organizer of the All-State Symphonic Band and Auditions Chair for the Texas All-State Band for three years. He has held positions as TMEA Region Chairman and Region Band Chairman. Lynn is a charter member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. He also served as a Texas UIL Region Executive Secretary and Assistant Secretary for over 16 years.
Lynn inherited much of his love of music from his Dad, Aubrey Low, who at one time sang first tenor with the original Stamps Quartet. Lynn received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Texas Tech University and Master of Science in Education degree from Baylor University. He has served as band director in Crosbyton, Cisco, Mexia, Richfield and at Waco HS in Waco, and East Central High School in San Antonio. Lynn is very proud of the number of former students from his bands who have gone on to careers in music education.