The Power of a Youthful Melody
Pianist and Singer, Oakland School for the Arts
Oakland, Calif. resident Rebecca Dharmapalan, who studies at Oakland School for the Arts in downtown Oakland, had always attended some of the most elite private schools in the Bay Area until last year. The dramatic shift from a private to a public school which is currently located in the center of the city’s Occupy Oakland movement, allowed her to pursue her passion of singing and piano. Her school is the stomping ground for America’s Got Talent finalists ‘Poplyfe’ and many other successful young artists although its history only dates back 10 years. Rebecca’s been playing classical piano for 10 years, and singing since she was a child. In recent years, people started emerging from all directions and had requests for her to perform at an event or function. Although she’s done many events and concerts; it was the performance to a crowd of over 2,500 at the historic Fox Theater in “Notes and Words” that changed her prospective on singing as a hobby verses a vocation. Having grown up with health challenges that resulted in many surgeries on one of her legs, Rebecca felt a need to give back to the community and used her singing to make a difference. She’s done fundraisers for Children’s Hospitals and is grateful to return something in honor of the doctors, nurses and physicians who helped her overcome a huge obstacle in her life. This positive, perky and outgoing young artist is looking to study both music and medicine in college; and one can only guess at the brilliant cross section she can achieve there. Her motto is ‘you only have one life, do what you love.’ Her performance at FOX Theater was a top notable accomplishment for this youthful soul; but she has also completed all three movements of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata too. For those less musically inclined, this is a major achievement for any pianist. Although she loves Beethoven and Chopin, she also enjoys Hip Hop and Rap too. She is musically well rounded. Recently she did a track for Bike to Work Day called The Cycle Beat with Mixman Shawn, Diamond Lane Records and Giju John. This was done to help encourage Bay Area residents to use bicycling more.
Check out the video at: http://www.youcanbikethere.com/video
If she could change one thing in the world, Rebecca says, “I would make vaccinations and medications accessible to every child. In the words of Dr. Lubin of Children’s Hospital, if we have healthy children, we are going to have healthy adults; and if we have healthy adults, we are going to have a healthy society.”
In line with her interest in medicine, Dr. Caroline Hoppe is the woman who inspires Rebecca th most. Dr. Hoppe is an Oncologist and Hematologist at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, and she also is a very close friend and mentor to Rebecca. “This summer I had the opportunity to do ‘rounds’ with her. It was one of the most backbreaking jobs you can imagine. She is on her feet 24/7, and she is deals with some heart breaking, emotional stories. Not to mention, when she gets home, she has 3 children to take care of. I look up to this incredible individual because Dr. Hoppe inspires me to always be in motion, never lose momentum, and to keep your brain active,” says Rebecca.
What is Rebecca’s best kept secret? “Most people don’t know I love to cook Sri Lankan food,” offers Rebecca. Don’t take our word for this amazingly talented young singer, watch her yourself here:
Rebecca Dharmapalan voice and soul is singing all the right notes to make her an influential Bay Area youthful artist.