Debra Winningham began her musical journey by sharing her love for music around the age of seven while traveling and singing in area churches with her family. It was these childhood experiences that stirred a passion in her to develop the natural musical gifts God gave her. She started piano lessons in elementary school and continued to take them on and off until graduating from college. In high school, she decided to broaden her experience and joined the band. She was able to achieve 1st chair 1st flute for her Junior and Senior years as well as leading the band as Drum Major for all outdoor events. Those Junior and Senior years were very fruitful and gave her the experience to become accomplished enough to gain a seat in All County and All Regional Bands. Before heading off to college, she had amazing opportunities to do Christian concerts on her own singing in local churches. The summer before college she was chosen to join The Baptist Festival Singers, under the direction of composers/arrangers Bob Burroughs, Stan Pethel, and Mark Hayes, as an alto vocalist and flutist. Participating in this was life changing for Debra as they did a month long concert tour in New Zealand and Australia. This was the first of three overseas music tours Debra would experience as a vocalist/musician.
During her freshman year at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, she auditioned and became a member of the Chamber Choir that provided another concert tour opportunity in England and Ireland. Experience in musical theater was gained by being cast in two shows, “Oklahoma!” and the opera “La Traviata.” After two years of study and numerous auditions, she was eventually awarded a full scholarship as an alto vocalist on The Sounds of Liberty. During her years on The Sounds of Liberty, she appeared weekly on a nationally televised program called “The Old Time Gospel Hour.” The group also toured the USA throughout the year and traveled outside of the USA. Years of studio recording experience as an alto was also gained as the group recorded their own albums and worked in the studio with companies such as Brentwood-Bensen, Word, and Integrity. In 1991, she graduated with her B.A. in Music with vocal concentration and piano proficiency.
In January of 2018, her family relocated to this area due to her husband taking a position as Pastor at a church in the area. Prior to her move, she taught music at Foundation Academy in Winter Garden, Florida for 12 ½ years and has served in numerous churches in various positions since graduating from college. Currently she enjoys being a vocalist and lead keyboardist on the praise team for weekly services at the church she attends. Her journey with music continues here and it is her goal to encourage you as you begin yours.