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Songs of joy benefit others

November 13, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg soprano Marlene Young embarked on a "journey of joy" when she set out to record her heartfelt songs of love and faith to benefit worthy causes, she said.

"How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me/Things so undeserved/And yet You give to prove Your love for me/The voices of a million angels will not express my gratitude/All that I am and ever hope to be I owe it all to Ye," Young sings in "My Tribute."

As one way to give thanks to God for the many blessings in her life, Young is donating all proceeds from sales of her Christian music CD "With Glad Heart" to the Smithsburg Library Building Fund, Bethel United Methodist Church in Chewsville and Salem United Methodist Church in Wolfsville, Md., she said.

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"It was so good for my soul to be able to do this, and I want others to be blessed by it as well," said Young.

A businesswoman in Frederick, Md., and member of the Smithsburg Library Board, Young, 48, fulfilled a lifelong dream when she released her first CD in March, she said. She and her family always sang around the piano during her childhood, and Young pursued music in college before switching her major to business, she said.

Despite raising a family and having a busy work schedule, she continued to hone her vocal and piano skills through lessons and practice and her longtime role as choir director at Bethel United Methodist Church.

"Music has always been such a vibrant part of the fabric of who I am. I'm all about creating and personal passion and giving back," Young said. "My family has been so blessed, and we feel it's important to give back to others."

"With Glad Heart" was a family project, Young said. Her husband, Mike, and son, Steve, offered her unlimited support while she worked on the collection of spiritual songs. Mike Young also "helped" his wife choose the contemporary and traditional Christian songs for her CD by suggesting that she include his personal favorite, "You'll Never Walk Alone," she said.

Young's daughter, Jenny, partnered with her to perform "Love Is." The duo's voices harmonize beautifully as they sing "I will love you/I will respect you/God gave you to me to be a family/You are a gift/You are a precious treasure/And I will love you/I will love you."

After securing permission to perform copyrighted music and arranging the 11 songs on her playlist, Young recorded the CD at Harvest Recording in Thurmont, Md. New Jersey-based Disc Makers produced the CD, she said.

"It was for me a focus on faith and a journey of joy," Young said. "It was truly a labor of love."

Sales of her CD in Smithsburg, including discs sold at the library and at Clopper's Orchards, have raised about $500 for the new library fund, she said.

CDs sold at Christian Light Bookstore and the Shepherd's Table in Hagerstown and Borders Books & Music in Frederick benefit the two churches. Salem United Methodist Church in Wolfsville is Frederick County native Young's home church, but she and her family have attended services at Bethel for nearly 20 years, she said.

Young is now working on her second spiritual CD to benefit several charities. The as-yet untitled CD should be released early in the New Year, she said. In addition to Christian tunes, it will include several patriotic tributes - music that Young, who was born on July 4, has always enjoyed, she said.

"I welcome any opportunity to express patriotic values and traditions," Young said.

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