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Bethlehem teen hits high note

The scenes were performed July 6 in the recital hall at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, less than two weeks after students arrived at the institute.

"To learn 10 minutes of music in that time is not easy," said Karpowitz.

One of the biggest challenges for Karpowitz was time management. At the institute, scheduled items took up only a few hours and the remainder of each day was open.

Oxberry said Karpowitz made good use of her free time, as she was always prepared with homework assignments.

"Bethany was very studious," Oxberry said. "She really wants to get it right."

Yahr wasn't surprised at this testimony to Karpowitz's work ethic. "Bethany has tremendous discipline and motivation for a kid her age," she said. It's clear she practices every day, said Yahr. "Her parents didn't push her-- it was unsolicited. "

"She's a good musician with a vocal gift," said Yahr. "She also has a very good ear and she's good with languages." Yahr said that's helpful much as classical singing is in other languages.

"Overall, she's ideally suited for this," Yahr said, adding that Karpowitz is "just a terrific teenager, very affectionate, and she sparkles with enthusiasm."

Karpowitz plans to pursue classical singing as she heads to college. This fall she will be a voice major at Syracuse University. She hopes to benefit from the advantages of a small music program with more individual attention in a big university setting.

In addition to her teachers, Karpowitz credits her family and friends for helping her get this far.

Of her parents driving her to weekly lessons without complaint, she said, "Driving two and a half hours each direction is a ridiculous thing to ask."

And she is very grateful for her grandparents, who fund her voice lessons.

Oxberry said Karpowitz's commitment reflects her upbringing in a community that is very supportive of the arts.

"Bethany has obviously been sparked by something in her school or her town," she said.

Karpowitz illustrates her motivation with a story from the institute, a teacher singing a famous aria.

"It was so beautiful. There was one note that almost floated," she said. "I just want to be able to move people with my voice."

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