September 28, 2008
The South is known for producing talented musicians and Deborah Brinson is no exception. With a lyric soprano voice and the strings of a folk harp, Deborah captures the passion and pathos that lies at the heart of Celtic music. Uniting the musical traditions of the Celts with that of her own Southern people, Deborah creates a special blend of music. Her unique repertoire and charming stage presence bring delight to audiences wherever she goes.
Deborah made her debut as a recording artist in spring 2007 with the release of Let Dixie Remember, a CD featuring Southern music for harp and voice. This was followed by an album featuring Irish music for harp and voice, entitled ErinSong, released in summer 2008.
In addition to being a performer, Deborah is an arranger and songwriter. Writing harp accompaniments for all her vocal selections, Deborah seeks to maintain the character and authenticity of every song she sings. Inspired by the music she has come to love, she also composes her own melodies and lyrics in keeping with Celtic tradition.
Singing has been a passion for Deborah as long as she can remember and always seemed to come as natural as breathing. When singing as a young child, listeners often marveled at how such a big voice could come out of such a tiny girl. Deborah comments that while most vocal students have to learn how to bring out their voice, her difficulty was in learning how to control the soaring voice she had been blessed with.
Deborah’s first introduction to music was through piano lessons beginning when she was five years old. Enamored with the idea of being a harpist, she taught herself how to play the folk harp in 1995 at the age of nine. In 2004, she trained for a year with nationally-renowned harpist Pamela Bruner, and participated in master classes with Irish harpists Gráinne Hambly and Máire Ní Chathasaigh. She began a four year study of voice in 1998 at the age of twelve with instructor Susan Crotts. Deborah pursued independent studies in music pedagogy for a time and in 2006 studied vocal performance, music theory, and music history at a local college.
Performance opportunities, both as a soloist and as a group musician, began with 4-H talent shows when Deborah was eight, through which she garnered Best of Show several years in a row. Her performance sphere soon began to expand and over the years has included concert series programs, home school conventions, an Andy Cooney concert, League of the South conferences, the Abbeville Institute, historical society events, private functions, and various other venues. Serving as a church musician has been, and continues to be, an important aspect of Deborah’s musical life, in both her home church and area churches.
Deborah’s interest in folk music has been greatly enhanced by her travels, having made multiple excursions to Ireland, as well as England, Australia, Malta, and Germany. Traveling with a small lap harp, she takes every opportunity to share her music and learn new songs.
As yet another way to pass on the joy of music, Deborah teaches voice, harp, and piano in a private studio she has been operating since 2003. She continues to develop her own musical interests by researching 19th century Southern music, studying Irish Gaelic for singing, and expanding her Celtic repertoire.
Celtic Radio Comments:
Deborah Brinson, The Harp of Dixie, has compiled a beautifully arranged CD of harp music and vocals. Called ErinSong, the CD focuses on traditional Irish songs. We found ErinSong to be a relaxing trip filled with the most beautiful harp music that we have heard this side of Dixe! An exquisite mix of tracks gives this CD a 5 star rating by Celtic Radio!