I was a student of Deborah's in 2001-2 when I travelled as an exchange student from the Royal College of Music in London to spend a year under her tuition at the Manhattan School of Music. I had lost touch with her and by chance decided to search for her on the internet only to discover the devastating news that she passed away in 2014.
She was such an influential figure in my life as a musician. At the time that I arrived in New York I was running from an emotionally abusive situation and my harp playing was in shreds. Deborah was unlike anyone I had met before. She was undoubtedly extraordinary and I felt truly honoured to be in her presence yet her warmth and humility overwhelmed me - she genuinely wanted to bring out the best in me. I flourished under her tuition. She stretched my preconceived ideas of technique and showed me how to master the instrument so that my fingers could create the sound that my heart was singing. She brought back to life the love of Music that I had and she became both my most treasured tutor and a friend. I kept in touch once I returned to England and visited her in New York a few times but life took me away from professional music and into motherhood and we lost touch.
If success was measured by concert platforms, it could seem as if her influence in my life was wasted as I never aspired to the future she trained me for, but if success is measured by lives transformed, then Deborah has succeeded through and through. Her attention to detail, her mastery of the harp and her beautiful character have forever changed the way I play and how I teach others. It is with enormous sorrow that I realise I never had the chance to say goodbye.
Thank you for setting up this email address so that I could share my memories.
I am forever thankful that her life touched mine,