For as long as she can remember, Deborah Kyle has been playing piano.
"I started playing at my church with one of the choir directors at the time," remembers Kyle. "He said 'you need to get her in lessons' because whatever he played, I would play the exact same thing."
"When I first saw it I thought 'whoa, wow. Where'd she get that from? I'm not musically inclined, nor is her mother," recalls Deborah's grandmother, Valencia Morris. "About the age of 8 her teacher said 'I have taken her as far she can go but she can go much further. You need to get her with someone who can take her further'."
Kyle says versatility is what she loves most about the piano.
"You can pretty much do anything with it," says Kyle. "My favorite style is contemporary gospel, it's gospel but has some elements of jazz with it."
Kyle attended the Mount Olive Music Academy through her church, that's where she learned about the Charles L. Moore Music School Scholarship.
"They (Mount Olive Music Academy) said 'We've got this application for the Charles L. Moore scholarship, please fill it out and let's submit it for Deborah," recalls Valencia Morris. "And so we did."
Named after a well-known church musician from East Tennessee, the Charles L. Moore Music Scholarship Foundation works to help young musicians develop their musical abilities and reach their highest potential.
"This scholarship has been an amazing thing for me," says Deborah Kyle. I kept getting it and over the years it's been paying for my lessons and helping my family financially, so it's been really a true blessing for me."
Thanks to the Charles Moore scholarship, Kyle was able to qualify for a full-scholarship to Wiley College in Texas.
"I will be studying music education, with an emphasis in piano," she says.
It's a bittersweet time for the Hardin Valley Academy graduate and her proud grandmother.
"I'm on the tree tops on this one," says Valencia Morris. "Because it says to me, 'okay mom it's time to let go'. I raised her. It's time to allow her to be the woman you know in your mind she can be. I'm just excited. I can't wait to hear from her when she says, "mom, we're getting ready to go here..or this is what I did'."
The family is grateful to the family of Charles Moore for the scholarship foundation that's helped Deborah use her talents to go so far.
"They have made an impact not on her life personally, but on the lives of the people she'll come in contact with," says Valencia Morris. "What they've done for her in helping to prepare her for the world is give her the knowledge that there are people that care about what happens to young people."
On Saturday September 1, there will be a benefit golf tournament for the Charles L. Moore Music Scholarship Foundation. It will be held at Three Ridges Golf Course (6106 Wise Springs Road) in Knoxville. Tee Time is 1:00 p.m.
To register contact:
Bruce Taylor (865) 963-7311 or Clyde Moore, Sr. (865) 898-2733.
For information on how to apply for the Charles L. Moore Scholarship call Lavonia Moore at (865) 541-5663.
Donations to the foundation can be sent to
Dr. Jane Redmond
P.O. Box 6041
Knoxville, TN 37914
Make checks payable to Charles Moore Music Scholarship