It's been said time and again that true beauty comes from within. Ocean City resident Rebecca Young takes that meaning to another level - or octave.
The 23-year-old Ocean City vocalist stood at the St. Peter United Methodist Church altar on May 28, captivating the audience with the the sound of her voice.
Young, a teacher at Fox Vocal Arts studio in Ocean City, opened the studio's annual vocal recital, which took place at the church, with a performance of "Musetta's Waltz" from "La Boheme" by Giacomo Puccini.
This year's recital also was a fundraiser event honoring Young's late mother, Betsy, a beloved Ocean City Intermediate School instrumental music teacher who died in 2011 of brain cancer. Donations raised at the recital went to the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine Penn Brain Tumor Center for research.
"We all knew Betsy Young as a colleague, a friend, a mother and a teacher to many of Ocean City's children," said Nancy Fox, founder and director of Fox Vocal Arts. "She was a wonderful musician and a wonderful friend."
Young began holding musical fundraisers for Penn Brain Tumor Center in 2010, the year her mother reeived a diagnosis of brain cancer and before she died.
"The fundraisers were not only to celebrate how much music meant to my mom, but also to celebrate how much music means to all of the students of Ocean City who were lucky enough to be touched by my mom's talent," she said.
Young's dream is follow in her mother's footsteps, inspiring and mentoring younger vocalists to help them find their voices. She is a 2012 graduate of West Chester University, where she double-majored in music education and vocal performance, with a focus on opera and musical theater, and currently takes voice lessons with Phillip Pelkington Jr. in New York City.
She plans to eventually move to New York to pursue her music and teaching career. This summer she is co-directing two two-week summer workshops at Fox Vocal Arts through the studio's Peanut Butter Players program for children ages 7-13. The Peanut Butter Players will perform two shows at the end of each workshop, one in mid-July and the other in early August.
"My mom gave me the inspiration to unleash my voice and find my passion in life," Young said. "I'm happiest when I'm up singing on the stage. So this is all for her."
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