The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation

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Bruce Stoller

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I was raised in the Five Towns of Long Island, NY in the 1950’s and 1960’s. My mother was musical and influenced her children to appreciate music and concerts. I first heard Stecher and Horowitz in concert at Lawrence High around the time their music school opened. A week later my mother brought me to the school to play for them, and this began my affiliation with Melvin Stecher, my teacher until 1967. The curriculum at the school prepared me to enter the Manhattan School of Music, where I studied with Robert Goldsand and occasionally with Dora Zazslavsky.

After MSM, I dodged the Vietnam War by registering at Hofstra University sitting through Anthropology classes. When the draft was no longer an issue, I went out West on a bicycle trip with seasoned riders from Manhattan. I landed in Tucson, Arizona in August of 1973, then in Bisbee, a copper mining town; that was on the tail end of a 100 year run in 1973. I had a house, a group of students and played “gigs.” I was experiencing music in a new way; composing and improvising in pop, rock and jazz settings and learning to do freelance.

I travelled throughout the West, and lived in Pocatello, Idaho, working on the Union Pacific Railroad as a yard clerk for three years. I returned to Tucson and started a family,and  in 1980 my daughter Dominique was born. While freelancing in resorts, I completed an M.F.A. in piano performance and composition at the University of Arizona. Around this time I pursued my interest in wind instruments.

I am a self taught flutist and always had one around and enjoyed playing, as well as “primitive” flutes, pentatonic instruments, especially Shakuhachi. It was out West where I developed a unique flute made from stems of Yucca blooms found throughout the Cochise County area of southern Arizona. I tune it like a Shakuhachi. This involved running a handmade but systematic woodworking and finish work process.

In the 1990’s I dedicated my time to teaching, making flutes and pursuing music related to them. For these instruments I composed a long series of pieces that appear on my CD “Mandala.” My “Sonoran Desert Flutes” business travel’s craft fair circuits, performing, selling flutes and CDs.