Evelyn Marett, a resident at The Village at Palmerton, celebrated her 96th birthday May 11.

Originally from the Germantown section of Philadelphia, moved to this area during the past year to live closer to her daughter.

Evelyn sang in public at a very young age in the Episcopal Church she attended with her parents.

"I was fearless when singing. My father helped hone my skills by having me perform at as many churches as possible," she said.

She and her organist friend traveled together and performed at weddings and all kinds of functions.

She attended Germantown High School, majoring in English studies.

"While there I was bitten by the theater bug," Evelyn says. "I fell in love with the music and drama departments. I was singing in most of the local churches anyway, so things just fell into place."

At the age of 22, she was performing regularly in the Central Bucks Performing Arts Company.

"Being called by telephone to be cast in an area performance of 'Finnegan's Rainbow' was such a thrill," Evelyn said as she broke into an a cappella rendition of "Follow a Dream."

She met her husband Thomas Marett in her Philadelphia neighborhood.

One of Thomas' friends, Jack Stuart, said to him, "Tom, I want to introduce you to this girl. She's just the thing you need!"

She has been fortunate to perform for a few cruise lines as well.

"After Tom retired from the Air Force, and later from AT&T, I also retired from my day job as a bookkeeper. We traveled together on cruise ships, me singing on the ship stage, and he as my guest," she said. Because of the ship's itinerary, the Maretts toured Germany, Hungary, Austria and France.

"It happened a few times that we were gone for months, but I wouldn't have had it any other way," she said.

Evelyn has two children. Her son Tom lives in New Jersey, and her daughter Evelyn lives in Slatington.