Concert Program
Deb Barr, A Musical Retrospective
September 17, 2021

Deb Barr, A Musical Retrospective

By Kathryn R. Burke

Deb Barr was born a musician. Music has been a guiding light throughout her life. She learned to play the piano when she was just two years old. At age five, she had memorized and could sing—all the words—to songs on 45s someone had given her.

During high school, Deb sang, played piano, and was involved with musical productions for community theater. She was 16 when she joined a Peter, Paul, and Mary “clone” band and sang with them until she went to college (in Austin, Texas).  She started her own jazz band while in college and was singing with other bands as well.

In 1981, Deb left Texas and headed to Telluride, Colorado, where she joined the Telluride Jazz Quartet (which then became a quintet). Seven years later, she went to New York City to take private lessons with a vocal instructor with the Manhattan School of Music. Deb also performed at various venues throughout the area.

She returned to Telluride in the ‘90s as a solo artist and also to sing with the Jeff Solon Swingin’ Big Band for the next 11 years. Today, she performs as a solo artist, and, besides Telluride, has performed in Albuquerque, Durango, Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose and other areas.

Deb Barr grew up in Abilene, Texas, where she was fortunate to have access to a variety of types of music and opportunities for singing. Family members were early influencers. Her mother could play by ear. Grandparents sang gospel music. Her  grandfather and his brother had a dance band that played on the radio in the 1940s. “I learned to play the piano,” Barr said, “because…it was just there. I was also lucky to have some really excellent music teachers.”

Over the last few years, Barr has continued as a solo artist, writing music and performing. She has three CDs out now, and authored a poetry book, There Will Always Be a Place. That title also the title of one of her original songs.

She and her husband, Jim Womeldorf, now own 333 Arts in Nucla, Colorado. Their ultimate goal is to be a place for music and poetry events, art shows, and more, “anything relating to the arts.”

“Jazz is my thing,” she said, “but it is only part of my repertoire. My identity as a singer/songwriter is very strong. I enjoy playing and performing a variety of music, including instrumental concert pieces, classical, old folk songs, like Judy Collins, pop, and of course…jazz.”

This variety is the theme of her “Musical Retrospective,” performed Friday, September 17th, at Montrose Methodist Church as a fundraiser for the Montrose Center for the Arts. Starting with an all-time favorite, Autumn Leaves, Barr ‘s Musical Retrospective is  an intimate evening of beautiful music, all kinds of music about different things, and a special treat as we escape from a too-long Covid confinement.

Read more about Deb Barr here.

About Montrose Center for the Arts

MCA is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization operated by volunteers and dedicated to being a cultural gathering place to engage all citizens, artists, and art enthusiasts by showcasing and nurturing the arts. We are supported by donations, grants, fundraisers, ticketed events and programs, art wall rental, gallery and gift shop sales, and class tuitions.

MCA hosts two exhibits a month—one in the Main Gallery and one in the Columbine Room. On the First Friday of each month we hold an  opening reception which includes food, wine, music, and an opportunity for guests to meet and mingle with the artists.

MCA hold various events throughout the year in addition to our monthly featured at shows. Events include fundrasisers, special events, and an annual Holiday Gift Mart.

MCA also hosts Monthly Programs, often partnering with other local and regional organizations, to share local history or offer discussions and demonstrations about various art forms. To learn more, visit  mc4arts.com/programs.

MCA fundraising events, such as this one, rely on ticket sales and generous donations from guests who attend. Our next fundraising event is Darling, Daring, and Decadent, a 1920s melodrama with the Grand Valley Players presented October 2nd. Tickets for this event are $20 and can be purchased at the art center or online: mc4arts.com/events. (Tickets are no-charge to those over 60 because of a special grant.)

MCA offers a wide variety of Classes and Workshops, all under the direction of Jodine Broscovak, in various mediums for adults and children. For a list of current classes or to register, visit our website and, scroll through the list under mc4arts.com/education.

Thank you to the Silver Stage advertisers who supported the Montrose Center for the Arts printed and web page concert program.

Click here to view the Deb Barr Concert Program, designed by Kate Burke. Printed and donated to MCA by San Juan Publishing Group.

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