Multi-talented teen performs at Dirt Bean
A 17-year-old Dunmore resident brought her musical stylings to Marlinton Saturday to perform at the Dirt Bean Ohana Cafe.
Erica Rebinski is a senior at Pocahontas County High School. In addition to being a talented vocalist, Rebinski plays the saxophone and flute, and is learning piano and guitar. Although she has played in the area before, this was her first performance at the Dirt Bean.
"It was good. I'd never heard her before. She's got a really nice voice," said Kristy Lanier, owner of the Dirt Bean.
Passion for music has always been a part of Rebinski's life and will even dictate the course of the next few years for her.
"I want to go to college for musical performance. The three schools I'm looking at are Berklee [College of Music] in Boston, Massachusetts, Belmont [University] in Tennessee and Alderson Broaddus [College] in West Virginia," said Rebinski. "I've already been accepted to Alderson Broaddus and Belmont. Right now I have an audition in March for Berklee. If I get accepted to all three; I'll narrow it down depending on scholarships, what I can afford and what school I truly love the most."
According to Rebinski, she sings mostly country music, but she is working to expand her repertoire.
"I like all music. I believe to be the best singer, you have to be a little bit of everything," said Rebinski. "Right now it's mostly country but I'm trying to mix in other songs, I'd like to try and mix different styles together."
Although Rebinski has always been around music, she is relatively new to the stage.
"This year is the first year I've actually started singing in front of people. Normally I would just sing with my mom, or maybe karaoke here and there," she said.
Christine Rebinski said her daughter was singing and dancing before she could walk and talk.
"I knew she was going to be musically inclined just by how she would act. She would literally line up her little stuff animals and sing to them, when she didn't even know how to talk yet. She's always loved music," said Christine.
Christine was a major influence musically for Erica and helps any way she can.
"I do just about everything. Mother, manager, chauffeur, cook," laughed Christine. "We're trying to do what we can to get her out there because she loves it so much. This is what she wants to do for her career and with her life."
Musical talent runs in the Rebinski blood.
"Her brother played saxophone, her other brother played trumpet, she [Erica] sings and plays saxophone and flute. I sing and play just about any woodwind instrument. We all kind of did music here and there," said Christine.
She was accompanied by Ron Hall, who has also had an influence on Rebinski.
"He used to be the band teacher at the high school. He was amazing. Now he's the principal at Marlinton Elementary. He's a really great guy, very enthusiastic about music," she said. "We started playing at the end of the summer, kind of working together when we can."
Hall, who performed with bands Anonymous, Spindrift, Left of Center and Sapphire in the 1980's and 1990's, was band director at PCHS from 1998-2004. Hall plays "a bunch" of different instruments including guitar and trumpet and also tunes pianos.
Rebinski writes her own music, but is still somewhat sheepish about her work, and she is always making changes as the songs develop.
"I have a secret journal in a sense. It's a book full of music I've written," said Rebinski. "I probably have 30 or 40 songs written, I just haven't let anybody hear them except for my parents. One day I think something's done, then the next day I'll add more to it or tweak it."
In addition to music, Lanier served sizzling coconut curry shrimp with mango chutney, carrot ginger spice cake and chocolate torte. For the second acoustic set at the Dirt Bean in recent weeks, Lanier was happy with the result.
"We've tried things in the past that were hit or miss, but the last two times we've had music I've been really pleased," said Lanier.