Debra Dene Barnes

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Debra Dene Barnes
Born (1947-09-06) September 6, 1947 (age 69)
Moran, Kansas
Alma mater Pittsburg State Teachers College
Occupation Associate professor of piano studies
Title Miss America 1968
Predecessor Jane Jayroe
Successor Judith Ford

Debra Dene Barnes, (married as Debra Snodgrass) (born September 6, 1947 in Moran, Allen County Kansas) was crowned Miss America in 1968.[1][2]


Barnes was raised in Moran, Kansas. Upon graduation from high school, she attended the Kansas State Teachers College (KSTC) in Pittsburg, Kansas (now Pittsburg State University) and majored in music. After winning the Miss Kansas pageant, she competed in the Miss America pageant. A talented pianist, she played the theme from "Born Free" as her talent entry. During her farewell address at the 1968 pageant, her speech was interrupted by protesters from New York Radical Women, who unfurled a bed sheet from the balcony that said "Women's Liberation" and began to shout "Women's Liberation!" and "No more Miss America!" as part of the Miss America protest. They were quickly removed by police but drew coverage by newspapers from across the United States.[3]

During the 1970s she lived in Eudora, Kansas, and taught piano to many local children.[4]

As a former Miss America, she has performed in 41 states and 3 foreign countries, on network television, numerous cable stations, and still maintains an active performance schedule. Since graduating from KSTC in Pittsburg, Kansas she has performed two concertos with the university orchestra and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, with the Carthage Symphonic Band.

Barnes is currently[when?] associate professor of piano studies, elementary music, and staff accompanist at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. She has over 35 years of piano teaching experience, in both private instruction and “class piano” format. Debra’s students have ranged in age from 5 to 87 years.[citation needed] Barnes is[when?] the worship leader at Faith Life Worship Center in Carthage, Missouri, where she has served for many years.[5]

Barnes won the Wadill Chamber Music Competition held at Pittsburg State University in March 2007. She performed Chopin's Concerto No. 2 in F Minor with the Southeast Kansas Symphony in April 2008.


  1. ^ "Miss America Titleholders". Archived from the original on March 31, 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Associated Press (1967-09-10). "Kansas Beauty is Miss America". Tuscaloosa News. p. 1. 
  3. ^ Greenfieldboyce, Nell (September 5, 2008). "Pageant Protest Sparked Bra-Burning Myth". NPR. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  4. ^ March is Women's History Month! This... - Eudora Area Historical Society | Facebook Received 2017-03-11.
  5. ^
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jane Jayroe
Miss America
Succeeded by
Judith Ford
Preceded by
Betty Louise Fox
Miss Kansas
Succeeded by
Kandee Kae Kline