By Andreas Butler
For Hometown News
Two young ladies are putting together a benefit concert for an arts program at Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach.
Sara Tomarelli and Ashley King will sing during the From My Heart concert on at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 11, in the school auditorium.
Admission is $10 with all the proceeds going to the American Musical Theatre program at the school.
"Funds are needed to keep the program going. It's not school funded," Ms. Tomarelli said. "Usually students raise funds or get donations.
"We both are big supporters of the arts," she said.
"I think it's very important because with the arts being taken out of the schools, we need to keep this program," Ms. King said. "This is a good program that we would hate to see leave Seabreeze. It's an asset to all the programs there."
The girls are classically trained sopranos. During the concert, they will sing songs in English, Spanish, Italian and French as well as songs from famous opera singers Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli and others. They also will perform songs by Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand and others.
"We don't speak the languages, but we have voice teachers who help us with the renditions in Spanish and Italian in Jo Traywick and Anna Maria Cavicchia," Ms. Tomarelli said. "Ms. Cavicchia was born in Italy and is a former opera singer. We do understand what the songs mean though."
Ms. Tomarelli is a freshman at Seabreeze and a member of the theatre program with a 3.6 GPA and her favorite subjects are theatre and Spanish.
Ms. King is home schooled and dual enrolled at Daytona State College with a 4.32 GPA. She enjoys her singing classes, but also math, science, dance and English.
Both girls have been singing for most of their lives.
"I started at six years old in the church choir. One director heard my voice and started giving me lessons," Ms. King said.
"When I was five, my Dad heard me singing in the car one day. He was like Wow! And said let's try it and see how it goes," Ms. Tomarelli said.
Singing is an emotional and spiritual fulfillment for the two young ladies.
"It is often an escape for me from problems at school, with family and friends and etc. It's a good stress reliever," Ms. Tomarelli said.
"Singing is the most magical thing in the world. When you sing, you feel whole. You are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing," Ms. King said.
The two teamed up thanks to one of their singing coaches. They feel they are the perfect team.
"One of our voice teachers decided that we sound good together. We have been together now for two years. We met through music, but now we are basically like sisters. We are always together on weekends singing. I think our voices blend together," Ms. Tomarelli said.
"I think our voices blend well and are the perfect matches for each other," Ms. King said.
Sam Tomarelli is Ms. Tomarelli's father and serves as manager for the girls.
"In my opinion, they are two of the finest female vocalists in this area," Mr. Tomarelli said. "When their voices blend together it can only be described as amazing. The selection of songs, you won't find anybody else singing this type of music."
The girls are concerned with the state of the arts in schools and are also conscious of the state of the arts in society.
"Budget cuts have taken away a lot of arts programs in school," Ms. King said. "It's sad, because many programs serve as a release for kids. They help relieve stress. Many kids often redefine themselves through the arts, especially music. I wasn't really outgoing as a child, but the arts have helped me. It's also happening in our culture. A lot of people don't know what opera is as well as other art forms of art, theater and music."
"The funding isn't there in schools. The band and dance departments are suffering at our school," Ms. Tomarelli said. "The arts are very important. They need to be respected and we need to pay attention. People need the arts in life. My situation may be different because I really like singing, acting and dancing."
In the future, the girls plan to have music in their lives.
"I am headed to Stetson University and will major in vocal performance," Ms. King said. My long term wish is to be a pastor and work in the church and use music as a form of worship."
"I have three more years of high school left, but I always wanted to be a professional singer," Ms. Tomarelli said. "I know a lot of people do, but singing is my dream."