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Smithsburg resident Marlene Young releases holiday CD

December 10, 2010|By CHRIS COPLEY | Staff writer
  • Marlene Young's CD, "Keeping Christmas," is her first new album in four years.
Submitted photo

Marlene Young didn’t need to record six albums to prove she could make a splash. She’s run successful businesses in the Tri-State area for decades and directed the choir at her church for 20 years.

But music has always been a part of her life, Young said, and in 2001, after years of singing for family and church, she decided to record her first album.

“I think it was about leaving a legacy. You get to a point in time when you realize your own mortality,” said Young, 56 of Smithsburg. “Music was such an important part of my life. These were songs from my heart that I wanted to convey to listeners.”

Her first CD, “With Glad Heart,” is an album of Christian songs. Since then, Young has recorded two more inspirational albums and three Christmas albums. Her latest holiday collection, “Keeping Christmas,” is her first new album in four years. Young worked with a team of professional musicians, arrangers and a studio producer to add polish and musical depth.

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As in her other albums, she included songs she cherishes. “I have to tell you, that’s one of the joys of making CDs — you can record the songs that are your favorites,” she said. “On this release, I’ve included ‘Mary’s Boy Child,’ accompanied with full orchestration, and ‘Here with Us’ — this arrangement really allows me to do a lot of personal expression about the meaning of Christmas.” Young grew up in the Tri-State area.

She attended Middletown (Md.) High School and studied vocal performance at Hood College in Frederick, Md. At Hood, Young stumbled upon another passion in her life: free enterprise. She switched her major to business management and embarked on a successful career. She is vice president of Great Southern Enterprises, a management services company in Frederick, and she is a founding partner of Great State Publishing, publishers of Maryland Life magazine. She is also a trustee with the Delaplaine Foundation, a private foundation in Frederick.

Young is married to Mike Young. They have two grown children. Both are musical and both have performed on mom’s recordings. Involving family in music is part of the family tradition, Young said. “My musical journey began as a small child. I can’t remember when there wasn’t music in our house,” she said. “Keeping Christmas” is available online at Amazon.com and Young’s website, MarleneYoung.com.

The CD may also be purchased at Washington County shops, including the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau gift shop in downtown Hagerstown. Young said she donates proceeds from the album to local charities, including REACH and Community Free Clinic.

This combination of creative expression and service to the community is central to Young’s philosophy.

“I feel we have a limited opportunity on this journey of life,” she said. “So it’s important for us to do what we can, when we can."

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