TALENTED and professional singer and teacher of music Rebecca Allison has died at the age of 47.

The mother-of-three from Kennington was a celebrated soloist for her local choir and was heavily involved in charity work across the county.

She helped found Charity Opera and was also the secretary of Kennington Overseas Aid.

She died suddenly last month after contracting bacterial meningitis.

Rebecca Allison, nee Martin, was born in 1968 and grew up in Kennington with parents Philip and Valerie Martin and sister Sarah, who is now a GP.

Music was a part of her life very early on. As a young girl she joined her father in the church choir and when she was 12 she was encouraged to perform with adults in her first proper concert.

After primary school in Kennington, she went to St Helen's in Abingdon.

She learnt how to play the piano with teacher Trevor Cowlett and his encouragement led her to study music at the Guildhall.

Friends and family said she had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice but she chose a career as a teacher of music rather then pursue the life of an opera singer.

In 1992 she married her childhood sweetheart James Allison.

They had children Emily in 1993, Matt in 1996 and Jonathan in 1999.

In 2000, Mr Allison started to work for Ferrari as an aerodynamic engineer, and Mrs Allison gave up teaching during the four years the family lived in Italy together. In 2004 they moved back to the UK and bought a house in Marcham near Abingdon.

Mrs Allison was eager to resume her career in music and soon met fellow opera singers Stephen and Claire Barratt; 18 months later they founded Charity Opera.

In the same year she also met the pianist and composer Nia Williams and the soprano Sarah Leatherbarrow. They performed together in London and Oxford, including at the royal opening of the new Pegasus Theatre in 2011.

Ms Leatherbarrow dropped out of the group for a while and Ms Williams and Mrs Allison continued to perform as Mezzopiano.

Soon after, a health problem threatened to bring Mrs Allison's career to an abrupt end, as a virus similar to labrynthitis attacked her nerve endings.

It caused tinnitus and she thought her singing and teaching career was over.

However, with encouragement, she sought help from a professional who taught her techniques to make the tinnitus easier to control.

Her determination led to performing Smoke and Mirrors at the Old Fire Station and at Kennington for Friends of Kennington Library.

Mrs Allison had to sing the parts of two characters and to perform in German, French and English.

She regularly sung with Abingdon Operatic, Oxford Operatic and with many other choirs and musical groups and to audiences in venues all over the county.

She was a popular teacher and a keen supporter of the Musical Youth Company of Oxford (MYCO) and both her sons performed with MYCO at the Playhouse.

Mrs Allison was also the secretary of Kennington Overseas Aid and every year for 12 years helped organise the KOA Gala Night.

She died unexpectedly on Monday, March 21 from a sudden attack of bacterial meningitis which overwhelmed her within hours. Her funeral was on Tuesday at St Swithun's Church.

A concert Mrs Allison was due to sing in at Exeter College Chapel on April 17 has been dedicated to her, and will raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.