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IMG_4874BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – One is more physical, while the other is more creative.

One is more motivated by inside stimuli, while the other can be stimulated by outside sources.

One’s success is easily documented, while the other’s is more difficult to evaluate.

So is running and music more similar or more different?

Both can be very individual pursuits.

Both feed off passion from the heart.

And both demand performance when the gun goes off – or the curtain goes up.

IMG_4902Yet while Olivia Farabaugh has managed to pull off each with equal flair, she will always be the singer who ran.

Farabaugh, a 20-something native of Palmyra, is Lebanon County’s hottest, young singer/song writer. But at least part of her success can be traced to an outstanding competitive running career at Palmyra High School.

“They are very similar, more in the mindset you’ve got to have,” said Farabaugh. “You can psych yourself out and get into a bad mood. So you have to have a positive mindset and keep looking forward. That was something very cool that (then Cougar running coach) Barb Mellinger brought to our attention. Running is something you can do the rest of your life.”

During her senior season, Farabaugh, a 2013 graduate of Palmyra, won not one, but two state gold medals in competitive running.

Farabaugh was a key cog on a Cougars’ squad that captured the PIAA Class AA team cross country championship in Hershey. Then in the following spring, Farabaugh combined her talents with Maria Tukis, Katie Dembrowski and Miranda Salvo to garner the gold medal in the Class AA 3200-meter relay at the state track and field championships at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.

golds“It was a good year,” said Farabaugh. “Being with the people I was with, the experience was absolutely amazing. There’s no one I would’ve rather run with, and Barb Mellinger was an amazing coach.

“I know I was pretty good,” continued Farabaugh. “But I wasn’t cocky about it. I had to work very hard.”

But running wasn’t the only thing Farabaugh was doing while growing up in Palmyra. She started singing at a very young age, she learned to play the guitar in fourth grade and she began writing songs in middle school.

“I always sang in the church choir and the chorus at school,” said Farabaugh. “I really got into it during my senior year in high school, so I started singing at coffee shops, and then eventually bars. I caught the fever for it and I wanted to keep going.

“Anytime anyone compliments me it’s huge,” Farabaugh continued. “I’m always looking back and looking for ways to improve. I’m confident in what I do. Since I was little, when I started playing the guitar, I thought the music will take me wherever it wants to take me. It’s always been a passion. I want to embrace whatever comes my way.”



Where it has taken the talented Farabaugh so far is her own album ‘Prisoner of War’, which was released in May of 2015, and an audition for the popular reality TV series ‘The Voice’. A regular on the central Pennsylvania bar and tavern circuit, Farabaugh is currently working on an extended-play record that is expected out soon.

“It was a cool album for me because it was all my favorite songs since high school,” said Farabaugh, of ‘Prisoner of War’. “There’s songs I’ve written and never played for anyone else. I can’t put a number on them. But there’s only a handful I’ve played for other people.

IMG_4898“I definitely feel like I’m blessed with that sense of music,” added Farabaugh. “Some people can just go out and fix a car. I’ve been blessed with the ability to write songs. I hope I’ve been able to help people through parts of their lives. There’s something there that I have.”

Farabaugh’s music is definitely soul-full, influenced by country and female pop artists and very easy to relate to. If there’s one thing she enjoys more than writing, composing and singing her own music, it’s performing it.

“For me, I grew up listening to a lot of country music,” said Farabaugh, who’s performed for crowds as large as 40,000 live. “I feel like I bring a mix of genres to the table. My original stuff has a lot of country in it, but a lot of singer-songwriter-bluesy as well.

“There’s nothing else that brings me so much happiness (than performing),” Farabaugh added. “I want to send out positive vibes. I’m very extraverted. I love going out and meeting different people. I love the writing process, but I also love sharing the unseen stuff live. I definitely am anxious to get started (before a performance). I think that’s just natural. I think it matters what crowd I’m in. I try to find people who are going to send back positive vibes. It adds to the excitement.”

While Farabaugh has certainly accomplished a lot since graduation, her future appears bright and full of attainable goals. So has she ‘made it’? It all depends upon one’s definition of that vague term.

IMG_4879“For me, ‘making it’ is being happy and enjoying everything I’m doing,” said Farabaugh. “If you would’ve told me I’d be on ‘The Voice’, ‘The Blind’ and open for Dylan Scott at the Lebanon Area Fair, I wouldn’t have believed that. If the definition is being in awe of where you’re at, then yes, I’ve made it. I’m happy where I’m at.

“Of course I want to improve and get better,” continued Farabaugh. “I’m blessed to be at the spot where I’m at. I feel like a lot of people put pressure on artists. ‘Making it’ is such a broad term that’s thrown around.”

Farabaugh is a singer/song writer/performer by night and on the weekends.  But by day and during the week, she styles hair.

“I’m also a hairstylist full-time,” said Farabaugh. “But this music is almost a full-time job. I’m grateful for my family’s help. If that day would come (making a full-time living playing music), that would be wonderful. I do love doing this. If I got a chance to do it full-time, I totally would.

interview“I am just taking it as it comes,” Farabaugh continued. “I’m working hard. I’m trying to think of the next thing. God has a plan and I’m letting Him take the reins.”

Farabaugh is currently entered in a three-part competition sponsored by radio station 106.7 Nash FM. The winner of the national competition will be awarded a recording contract with Big Machine Records.

“I think everything starts from your love for music, for your love for writing, for your love for performing,” said Farabaugh. “I still can’t believe I get paid to do this, play music that I love. People are so generous. I almost felt selfish taking the money. Now I donate part of my tips to the Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors. It’s nice to have that little bit of cash. But none of this could happen if I didn’t love the music I’m doing.”

 

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palsPRISONER OF WAR LYRICS

VERSE 1

Ohh I can’t stand to just hear your voice through the echoes in the wind to my ear

Can you just give me a little something more to ease my soul oh just a little

‘Cause when that night sky falls, I want to fall to you crawl to you but your missing and I’m missing you! Ohhh

CHORUS

Your fighting but I’m fighting this war inside myself

To not come for you and make you my own prisoner of war

VERSE 2

That train ride is free of the backside I’ll hold on tight if I can hold onto you

Lets dip our toes in the ocean we can float away, oh just for a little

And if they come asking, then we will go running to anywhere safe for you and me, to hide

CHORUS

Your fighting but I’m fighting this war inside myself

To not come for you and make you my own prisoner of war

Your fighting but I’m fighting this war inside myself

To not come for you and make you my own prisoner of war

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