Berwick teen uses mature singing talent to raise money for cystic fibrosis
A Berwick girl has succeeded in two arenas usually occupied by folks many years her senior: turning heads in the music industry and advocating for people in need.
Rose Ostrowski, 13, is poised to embark on her third annual Adding Tomorrows tour, which will take her to various venues throughout Eastern Pennsylvania through February with one big stop in Nashville, Tenn., to kick off the journey.
Fans of Rose can help her aid the Lehigh Valley chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by donating on her website, roseostrowski.com, purchasing her music on a variety of digital platforms or making a donation at one of her live performances in exchange for one of her CDs. All donations go directly to the foundation.
Rose began singing songs from “Phantom of the Opera” when she was 8 years old.
“Then I moved on and started singing (Top 40) stuff like Taylor Swift and rock,” she said.
Rose said when she’s on tour, she’ll sing everything from country to ’80s hits to electric pop.
“Sometimes some classical too, because I take singing lessons and piano lessons,” she said.
When she began performing live, Rose said, she was a bit nervous and unlikely to loosen up on stage, but her few years of experience have taught her to be lively and engage her crowd.
“I love doing it,” she said. “You get more comfortable and get into it more. Sometimes it’s stressful, but it’s worth it.”
Since beginning her singing career, Rose has recorded cover singles “Let It Be,” by the Beatles; “Life is a River,” by Tesla; and “Your Words,” by Christian rockers Third Day.
Recently she was named a finalist in the Christian category of the international Unsigned Only competition after her father, Gene Ostrowski, submitted her version of “Your Words.”
The young chanteuse has even shared a stage with ’80s hitmakers Warrant.
“Warrant is definitely awesome,” says a statement on Rose’s website. “Everyone in the band treated me like a rock star.”
And Rose pays forward that type of gratitude with her advocacy.
“My cousin (Camilla Stiller) passed away from (cystic fibrosis) when she was 21, and I want to give back in memory of her … find a cure,” Rose said.
Gene Ostrowski is proud of his daughter for both her courage as a performer and her presence of mind to aid others at such a young age.
“The coolest feeling is seeing people’s reactions,” Ostrowski said. “When she was a lot younger — just a little kid — looking at people’s expressions, they were thinking, ‘This girl’s going to stink.’ Then she starts singing, and they’re like, ‘Wow, she can really sing.’”
“The charity side makes is so much better,” he continued. “The CF Foundation people are great, and, unlike a lot of charities, the money they collect goes directly to research, not into people’s pockets.”
Rose said she plans to record original music in the future and continue spreading awareness of those battling cystic fibrosis. Should she be named the grand prize winner of the Unsigned Only competition, she’d receive a wealth of music equipment and a $20,000 prize.
Of her upcoming debut at Nashville’s Hard Rock Cafe, Rose said she’s excited.
“I can’t wait. I’m really nervous, but I know I’ll do good,” she said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
ROSE OSTROWSKI PERFORMANCES
Sept. 21: Hard Rock Cafe, Nashville, Tenn.
Oct. 7: Columbia Mall, Bloomsburg
Oct. 14: Laurel Mall, Hazleton
Oct. 28: Lehigh Valley Mall, Allentown
Dec. 9: South Mall, Whitehall
Dec. 16: Columbia Mall, Bloomsburg
Jan. 13: Laurel Mall, Hazleton
Jan. 27: Lehigh Valley Mall, Allentown
Feb. 10: Marketplace at Steamtown, Scranton
Feb. 24: South Mall, Whitehall