Bet you didn’t realize you have a famous songwriter living in our great little town, now, did you? Evans resident, Donna Rose Dutchess, has been composing and performing music for over 40 years. Her music is making a smash in the country and gospel circles, and has been making an inspiring impact as a special tribute to the Special Olympics
Stricken with spinal meningitis at the age of 18 months, Donna lost 60% of her hearing. Regardless, music has always been special in her life, remembering “composing” symphonies in her head as early as 5 years old. Being a child of the 60’s, the biggest influence in Donna’s life musically was the Beatles, couple with a strong exposure to the classics. Being unbearably shy and self-conscious due to her disability, Donna’s entire world exploded at the age of 13 when she started playing the guitar and writing music.
Determined to set an example for other people with disabilities, she put together several bands over the next 30 years, acquiring local success with Buffalo’s first all female country band, touring all over Western New York and Pennsylvania. Besides being the leader of the band, Donna played the guitar, banjo and wrote all the bands original music. Due to the success of her last band “Sweet Phantasy” Donna was featured in a half hour television special focusing on her ability to perform and write music, despite her hearing loss.
Now with her performing days behind her, Donna is concentrating all her creative abilities on perfecting her craft of songwriting. Having written 100’s of songs over the years, she is writing new and re-writing some old, having them produced and recorded in Nashville for that pure country sound.
Tapping in to the wisdom that comes with experience, her music now has taken on a new life, and richness of its own. In 2014, Donna’s “On the Hills of Whitesville” remained in the No. 1 and 2 positions on the Reverbnation Country/Christian/Gospel/Pop charts. In the Summer of 2016, her hit “Try” was played as a tribute to the Special Olympics. Her most recent release, “Just GO”, as performed by Nashville recording artist Jon Scott, aired on January 12th, on All WNY Radio.
Please visit Donna’s Website to listen to more of her music!
“Now, I tell it like it is because I’ve been there, done that, and have a lot to say”. We are so proud to have you in our community Donna! Thank you for putting Angola on our country’s music radar! Congratulations!