Debbi has been creating music for dance since the age of 12, playing for class in return for ballet lessons at her local dance school. After failing to get accepted onto a full-time ballet course aged 16, Debbi went to study the piano at Trinity College of Music, London, but soon found balletic solace a few doors away in Marylebone High Street at the Brooking Ballet School, where she successfully auditioned for a part-time job as a ballet pianist to fund her way through music college.
Under the combined expert guidance of renowned ballet pianist and composer Norman Higgins and the inimitable teacher of the Cecchetti method of ballet Miss Nesta Brooking, Debbi spent several years refining her skills both as an accompanist and classical dancer, performing both as dancer and pianist in school shows. Norman Higgins proved to be a fine musical mentor and encouraged Debbi to solely improvise for class, often offering weird and wonderful suggestions for inspiration… tanks, pigs, planets etc. This led to a highly creative and productive ten year business partnership between Norman and Debbi, during which time they produced approx 50 CDs of original music for all types of Theatre Dance under the company name of Norman Higgins Music Ltd.
Debbi’s career as a ballet pianist flourished – working at many of the foremost Dance Colleges in the country, accompanying prestigious events at the RAD, and at least 20 years at the Imperial Ballet Awards for the ISTD. Her music for the Professional Syllabi of the Imperial Ballet Faculty has been used worldwide for the past 23 years, and she has composed numerous ballets for productions and competitions throughout the world. In 1991 she collaborated with dancer Wayne Sleep on a children’s “teach yourself ballet video” – “Step into Ballet with Wayne Sleep”, composing all of the music and appearing as class pianist. She still regularly accompanies for ISTD and RAD Ballet exams all over the world.
More recently Debbi has worked regularly as guest accompanist for morning class for the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, with world renowned dancers and teachers , and is currently working for the ROH’s Chance to Dance Company. This wonderful project gives primary school age children from Thurrock, Lambeth and Southwark the chance to train in ballet and creative dance, leading to performances at Covent Garden with members of the Royal Ballet.
In 2013 Debbi composed her first full length ballet score “The Windvale Sprites” for the South London Dance Studios, which received its first performances in May/June 2013.
Debbi is able to compose music to order for all types of theatre dance from short piano pieces for festivals and competitions to fully orchestrated full length ballets. She is also available to accompany ballet exams and competitions.
Contact Debbi to discuss your musical requirements, and be sure to check out Debbi’s new CD’s for Ballet class and a large selection of “bestsellers” from the Norman Higgins Music years of theSHOP.
A short film of a soundtrack created by random improvisation to accompany choreography by Wayne Mc Gregor for a dance piece “Chroma” with artists of the Royal Ballet.