Young singer works to sharpen gift

NEIGHBORS

June 09, 2000|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES and discovering one's talent take some people a lifetime. Others, like 11-year-old Bethany Fuller, are blessed with that knowledge at a tender age.

A fifth-grader at Bodkin Elementary School, Bethany recently passed her level-one voice examination given by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Her singing ability was discovered when she tried out for Bodkin's school chorus almost two years ago.

"We were pleasantly surprised when Karen MacFie, Bethany's music teacher at Bodkin, told us that she had a great voice," said the girl's mother, Donna Fuller. "Mrs. MacFie encouraged us to consider voice lessons to help her develop her talent."

After a trip to Peabody Conservatory for an evaluation, Bethany was accepted as a student by Helen Strine, head of voice at the downtown Baltimore school. Her training in how to use her voice began in earnest there more than a year ago.

At her instructor's urging, the young singer took up the Royal Schools of Music voice course, a program used by voice students worldwide. The intensive course includes learning classical songs, how to sing a cappella (without musical accompaniment) and sight-reading music.

A roving examiner from the Royal Schools tests student progress on a yearly basis, and Bethany's hard work paid off as she passed the level-one test. "She was rather intimidated at the testing, since most of other voice students there were a lot older," Fuller said.

Donna and David Fuller view Bethany's developing talent as an unexpected blessing.

"Several years ago, we discovered that Bethany was blind in her right eye since birth," Fuller said. "But she doesn't let that stop her."

Next week, Bethany and her fraternal twin sister Lauren, a talented gymnast and musician, will graduate from Bodkin. Bethany is looking forward to summer fun, middle school - and more singing.

She says that God may have taken some of her sight, "but he's given me a voice."

Strawberry festival

Take a break from weekend chores for treasure-shopping and berries at Jenkins Memorial Church's annual strawberry festival tomorrow.

The festival will begin with an indoor flea market at 7 a.m. Light breakfast foods will be sold. Ruby red berries, served with ice cream and cake, plus homemade crab cakes, barbecue, hot dogs and refreshments will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit Sunday school activities of the church, 133 Riviera Drive. Information: 410-437-0124or 410-360-1818.

Church's fun-day Sunday

The youth group at Emmanuel Lutheran Church has planned a fun-day Sunday ice cream social fund-raiser after Sunday's 11 a.m. service.

Games for children and a dunking booth for adults will be featured, and lunch will be available. Ice cream will be served.

Proceeds will help the group meet its goal of raising $8,400 to attend the national Lutheran youth group gathering this summer in St. Louis.

Information: 410-255-4141.

Parish picnic

St. Jane Frances de Chantal Roman Catholic Church in Riviera Beach will have a parish picnic from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on its grounds on St. Jane Drive.

It will include children's carnival games, a magic show and karate demonstration, and an appearance by Baltimore Blast and Maryland Pride soccer players.

A dime bingo will be held in the hall from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Information: 410-437-8353.

Lions Club raffle

The East Anne Arundel Lions Club will begin selling Lions Club raffle tickets at 2 p.m. today at the Lauer's IGA store on Edwin Raynor Boulevard.

Prizes include a 2000 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and cash prizes up to $5,000.

The drawing will be held Oct. 14 at the Apple Scrapple festival in Bridgeville, Del.

Club members also will be selling tickets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Saturday at the Chesapeake Square Wal-Mart.

Proceeds benefit Lions sight and hearing programs, as well as youth education, civic improvements and other community projects.

Information: 410-255-0076.

SHARE June menu

The SHARE (Self Help and Resource Exchange) program that rewards community volunteers by offering monthly food packages in exchange for two hours of volunteer time and $15, has announced the menu for this month.

Volunteers can purchase a regular package of 15 items including fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and entrees. Those who purchase the regular package are eligible to buy a preboxed grill package, featuring more than 10 pounds of frozen meats.

Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Pasadena has served as a SHARE site for eight years. Volunteers must sign up and prepay for this month's package by Sunday. Delivery date is June 24.

Information: 410-255-4141.

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