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The Week in Reviews - Deborah Offenhauser

  • Broadcast in Music
Simon Barrett

Simon Barrett


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Pianist and composer Deborah Offenhauser began taking piano lessons when she was five years old, though she had been playing for some time before then—begging her brothers to teach her everything they knew. After a visiting piano teacher mistook her piano playing for her older brother’s, she was promptly signed up for lessons and a lifelong love of music was born. She studied piano formally until she was fourteen, memorizing classical pieces for festivals and contests, and learning theory, scales, and chord progressions along the way. Her father ensured that she wouldn’t be too immersed in classicism, and she credits him for her exposure to more contemporary musical numbers

When Deborah’s piano teacher relocated, her formal lessons ended but her love for music continued unabated. While her older brothers had long left their childhood piano lessons in the past, she not only continued playing piano, but the classical organ, mandolin, 5-string banjo, guitar, and violin as well. She worked as an accompanist throughout high school and college, and after making connections with college faculty, she was asked to lecture at the University of Michigan. Her career as a music teacher had just begun.

Deborah continued to play music during her teaching years, opening for bands from The Moody Blues to The Chordettes, playing at resorts, hotels, and casinos, and recording albums of original piano tunes blended with covers of favorite songs. With patience and perseverance, she was delighted when her efforts led to “Desperate Housewives”, “The Big Bang Theory”, and “Madam Secretary”—all hit television shows—using her songs in their programming. She also became a pianist for a number of touring Broadway shows and has seen her music distributed nationally via Barnes & Noble, and Borders Books & Music book stores.

Her new CD Soundscapes is outstanding