Central Oregon Symphony flutist Stefanie Janin-Brohamer never really wanted to play the flute. The nine-year-old was dedicated to the piano. But because the piano was not part of the band, Stefanie had a free period.
Mom and Dad weren’t thrilled with that, so they grabbed the closet-bound flute of their other daughter and said, “If you want to continue piano, you will play the flute.” Fortunately, playing the flute came easily, but the young Stefanie still preferred the piano, and it was her focus until the day her beloved piano teacher moved away.
With that loss, Stefanie’s interest in piano waned. Then she decided that being a drum majorette was much more exciting than playing flute in the band. However, when marching season was over, she picked up the flute again. Playing in orchestra and wind ensembles, the teenage Stefanie learned the fun and challenge of the flute.
By her senior year, she was spending Saturdays in Julliard’s pre-college program before heading to Oberlin and an eventual bachelor of music in flute performance and then to Yale, where the small studio environment provided many more
After graduation Stefanie moved to North Hampton, Massachusetts where she gave private lessons to 42 young, aspiring flutists. It was there she recognized what these young kids lacked: the inspiration, the strong connections and good basic instruction she had gained from her grade school and high school music teachers.
Remembering these young years as some of the best in her musical history, Stefanie decided to follow suit and get a teaching degree. She moved back to Connecticut and taught middle school music, choir and band.
Acting on a long-time desire to head west, Stefanie hit the road and landed a job teaching at a private school in Tucson, Arizona. Then, looking for a better fit, she took a suggestion from her uncle and drove to Bend. After nine years at Bear Creek Elementary, Stefanie is in her second year teaching at Silver Rail.
And as for the flute? “When I look back on the all the experiences I’ve had, playing under amazing teachers and conductors in great concert halls, I have no regrets. Now I’m here in Bend, playing with a bunch of talented and genuinely kind people, under a great, knowledgeable and approachable conductor. I’m right where I want to be.”