Deb’s musical collaborators are an essential part of music-making at Cascade Cello. Learn more about them here.
Many of the pieces which students perform at a recital require a piano accompanist. We are very fortunate to have the collaboration of Karen Shepard, who rehearses and performs in all recital pieces requiring piano. In addition to being a skilled accompanist, Karen is a thoroughly friendly, patient and supportive musical partner to each and every participating student. According to each student’s needs and wishes, Karen works alongside Deb during regular cello lessons as well as offering private rehearsals in her home for a modest fee. Her work is part of Cascade Cello’s essential core.
Deb also often collaborates with Karen when Deb performs in her own recitals and other concerts. Having a musically sensitive accompanist and collaborator is an essential part of any recital presentation.
Karen has accompanied Central Oregon students for many years for events such as the local and state Solo & Ensemble competitions, the Sunriver Young Artists Scholarship auditions, and various recitals. Karen has also played piano in numerous musical theater productions at Cascade Theatrical Company in Bend. She also can be found playing flute and piano in the Cascade Winds Symphonic Band.
A retired foreign language teacher, Karen studied chamber music at Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD and enjoys playing four hands piano and other chamber music with friends. She and her husband, Les Lambert, enjoy fishing, canoeing and hiking in the Cascade mountains.
From time to time, Deb performs with an ensemble known as “The Johnston Duo”. Her collaborator for these performances is Deb’s sister-in-law, Barbara Johnston. Deb and Barbara are each professional cellists, but their careers have unfolded on different continents. A historic photograph (see right) shows Deborah Johnston and Barbara Lockwood, ages 13 and 16 respectively, playing cello duos in the Johnston living room in Lafayette, California. Since then, and until Deb moved to Bend, they did not play together again. Imagine their joy in rediscovering their musical compatibility!
Barbara lives in Scappoose, Oregon with her husband, Craig (Deb’s brother), the principal timpanist of the Portland Columbia Symphony. She recently retired from a successful law practice in Hillsboro, Oregon and is now studying web design. When the spirit strikes them, Barbara and Craig may well be found on their sailboat in faraway places. Their older son, Ian, is a software engineer, photographer (see banner photo above) and technical director of Annex Theatre in Seattle; their younger son, David, is a free-lance animator (Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3, Cartoon Network, Current TV and several game companies) in Los Angeles.