Peterson, a native of Olney, Illinois, began formal music training at
age seven on piano and later, flute, piccolo and recorder. She earned
a B. S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana,
studying with Kathy Tessin and Charles Delaney, and has played in concert
bands in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Georgia, and on tour in Europe.
After moving to Georgia in 1993, Debra pursued graduate studies in Music
Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, studying flute with
Julie Stone and James Zellers. In answer to a developing interest in
traditional celtic music, she taught herself to play celtic harp, simple-system
flute, whistle, bombarde, bones, and bodhran. In 1996 Debra began performing
on these new instruments with the Atlanta Folk Harpers at “Christmas
At Callanwolde”, and with Karon Adams in the Scottish music duo, HEATHER
IN THE MIST. She has performed at the Georgia Renaissance Festival since
Fall Season 1996, appearing as “Delia MacDougal – Harper and Flutist”,
singing Scottish and Irish songs and playing harp and a selection of
wind instruments. In the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern’s 1997-98 production
of “A Midsummernight’s Dream, she shared the role of Philostrate,
playing modern flute, recorder, and bombarde. Since 1997, Debra has
performed traditional Irish music on harp, flute, fife and whistle with
Kathleen Donohoe Richman in the group, SIANSA,
occasionally joined by other local musicians. Her rich accompaniments
can be heard on Kathleen’s newly-released CD, Irish Songs You’ll
Love ©2002. Debra produced her first solo harp/flute CD, A Harp
In Ivy, in 2000 and her new CD, Harp At Water’s Edge, will
be released in Fall 2002.
1999, Debra completed studies with the Music For Healing and
Transition Program and became a Certified Music Practitioner.
She continues to play at the bedside for patients through United
Hospice and Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia.
Though she most often solos on harp and flute, Debra has also
appeared with the GOLIARDS
OF ATLANTA (Voluptas Intemperantie, Oct. 2001) and
NEW TRINITY BAROQUE.
At All Saints Lutheran Church,
she makes music in the Chancel Choir, Bach Ensemble and the
Celebration Band. Debra has brought her music to schools, churches,
museums, pubs, bookstores, coffeehouses, senior centers, and
to weddings, funerals, festivals, Renaissance and Victorian
banquets, corporate events and private parties.
addition to performing regularly, Debra is a District Instructor
for American Independent Music Association, teaching beginning
instrumental music in several Atlanta area private schools.
She is currently Treasurer of the Atlanta Folk Harpers, and
a member of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen,
Scottish Harp Society, Historical Harp Society, and the Atlanta
Early Music Alliance.