From the age of four, Debbie discovered a deep passion for music as she sat with her mom on the piano bench and watched her play. Her love of music only grew when she watched the record of Mario Lanza spin round and round! Her parents listened to music from every genre of music which helped to foster her passion for a wide variety of music. She grew up in Ishpeming, Michigan (in the Upper Peninsula) and her first piano teacher, Luella Marin, gave her a solid foundation in traditional piano. She sang in choirs starting in elementary through high school, played saxophone in band, and soprano bugle in a junior drum and bugle corps. She also took up ballet and tap and was totally immersed in the arts. After a brief stint in the modeling business after high school, she applied and auditioned to several music schools.
Debbie was accepted to The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and studied classical piano with Verna Trine. She went on to study classical piano with Barry Goldsmith and voice with D. Kathryn Green at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI. While at Northern Michigan, she studied theater with Dr. James Panowski and acted in several plays. After attending NMU Debbie traveled with a show band and sang in a pop band. Then she began her journey into jazz piano with her teacher and mentor, Alan Swain. After studying with Alan and practicing and learning a repertoire of standards, she successfully began working as a pianist and vocalist.
Her past voice teachers include Lia Corinth, D. Kathryn Byers at Northern Michigan University, and most recently Debbie studied with Mezzo-Soprano Jessye Wright.
Debbie currently performs at Von Maur in the Glen Town Center in Glenview, IL. Her past performances include Lino's Ristorante, McCormick Place Conventions, The Midland Hotel, The InterContinental Hotel (all in Chicago), The Rosewood in Rosemont, IL, and The North Shore Hilton Hotel in Skokie, IL (now the Double Tree Inn.) She has also accompanied the iconic Chicago vocalist Wayne Messmer and his wife Kathleen Messmer. And she performed in a solo concert at the Prospect Heights Library. Most recently, she provided background music for Alecia C's Bridal Fashion Expo. Her music comes from all genres, including jazz standards, blues, pop, rock, country, classical, and show tunes. Recently, she has composed original songs and is continuing with this endeavor!
She has been a piano accompanist at the high school level as well as cantor and song leader at her church, and director of the children's choir for one year. She has also accompanied soloists and worked as part of the music ensemble for St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Debbie also enjoys entertaining residents at nursing homes and facilities.
Debbie is also a recreational guitar player, so look for her to slip in an original blues guitar/vocal piece on her "Originals" page in the near future!