A SINGER is hoping to raise enough money to perform in the home town of her musical heroine.

University of Worcester student Deborah Rose, from Droitwich, has become friends with the family of the late Eva Cassidy, who found fame with the release of Songbird following her death in 1996, and now plans to travel to America to sing.

Miss Rose, who is currently studying for a MA in English Literature, even set the words of one of Cassidy’s poems to music on her debut single, Springtime, with the blessing of the Cassidy family.

Now, she plans to raise £10,000 ahead of her appearance at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, in Washington DC, on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, where she will be joined on stage by violinist Rickie Simpkins.

“I have listened to Eva since she was first heard on Radio 2, so it feels quite surreal, but it also feels right and it is a really beautiful opportunity to be in that place,” she said.

The fund-raising campaign will also go towards an upcoming tour and the release of her debut album, Song Be My Soul, in September, which will feature some of Eva’s favourite songs, including Who Knows Where the Time Goes and The Rose.

As a singer-songwriter, Eva’s brother, Dan Cassidy, described Miss Rose as “a beautiful singer whose voice reveals an inherent quality that seems to transcend musical genres”.

She will also be reunited with Eva’s parents, having acted as their tour guide when they visited the UK two years ago.

“It will be wonderful to spend time with them,” she said.

“They are lovely, kind people and to see them in America is going to be wonderful.”

She calls the moment she heard Eva’s voice an “epiphany when everything suddenly made sense” and has talked about her links with the family on BBC Radio 2’s Weekend Wogan show.

Her solo career has seen her perform with the likes of Boo Hewerdine, 10cc and Thea Gilmore, while she recently joined the Bromyard-based Remi Harris Gypsy Jazz Project.

For more information and to make a donation towards her campaign, go to indiegogo.com/projects/deborah-rose-album-and-tour.