Debbie has written music from a young age when she would write pop songs for her rock group Firebird which she formed at school. She studied orchestration at the Royal College of Music and went on to write music for radio commercials and corporate films, arranging the music for various instrumental groups and singers and overseeing the recording sessions. Debbie's love of musicals and involvement with youth theatre, inevitably culminated in writing musicals for children to perform. She was commissioned by Walthamstow Primary School to write the music for Alice in Wonderland which was her first musical. Some years later, Debbie revisited the show and did her own adaption of Lewis Carroll's novel for another production of the show at her theatre school Centre Stage. This show has since been performed by several other schools. The score features a rapping White Rabbit, a calypso carnival Caterpillar, and various solos, ensemble numbers and dances.
The next children's book Debbie tackled was Jungle Book. She was keen to keep to the original Mowgli stories from Kipling's novel, rather than the Disney film of the same name, but wanted to modernise the characters and make them relevant to modern day children. Thus the wolves are portrayed as a family of gansters, the monkeys as a rapping street dance crew, Kaa the snake as a quizmaster who can only talk in quiz show catch-phrases and Mowgli as a cub scout!
Having enjoyed Tolkien's The Hobbit as a child, this seemed the ideal choice for Debbie's next adaptation. Using dialogue and song lyrics from Tolkien's text, Gandalf, Bilbo and his dwarf companions travel through Middle Earth. Again the musical styles are contemporary and include rapping goblins and pop-style girl-band spiders, but also draw on folk influences and more traditional musical theatre styles.
Debbie also has extensive experience as an arranger and orchestrator and regularly writes vocal arrangements for choirs. She has also written several pieces for mixed choirs and piano which have all received their premier performances at the Brighton Fringe Festival
"The Commuter's Prayer" 2015. To view the premier performance click here
"Singers of Songs" 2016 To view the premier performance click here
"Like the Rainbow" 2017 To view the premier performance with an introduction by me click here
Debbie's composition for choir, piano and strings "Roads Go Ever On" was premiered at The International Composer Festival in Hastings on Fri 25th September 2015. Listen to the performance in the video below.