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Debra Stehr, Assistant Principal Bass

Debra Stehr, assistant principal bass, received her B.M.degree from the University of Nebraska and M.M. degree from the Shepard School of Music at Rice University, where she was a student of Paul Ellison. Stehr's professional experience includes the Veracruz Symphony, the Orchestra of the State of Mexico and the Austin and Omaha symphonies. Stehr has also played with the Houston Grand Opera as well as the Houston Ballet Orchestra. She served as professor of bass performance at Southwest Texas State University, University of Houston and the Texas Music Festival. She is also a certified personal trainer. Stehr has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic since 1992.

Name: Debra Stehr

Instrument: Bass

Hometown: Lincoln, NE

At what age did you begin playing your instrument? 15

Who has been your greatest musical influence? Paul Ellison.

Who are your favorite composers? I love all the Baroque masters, and Mahler, Beethoven and Brahms.

What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? Exercise, sports medicine.

What's currently playing on your iPod or CD player? Lots of different things, not so much classical: Sophie B. Hawkins and k.d lang.

Your hobbies and interests: Motorcycles, weight training, my pets.

Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: I once weighed 160 pounds and loved junk food.

Funniest concert moment:The time we were in Miami playing for Kiri Te Kanawa and the conductor gave the downbeat and no one played except for one or two violinists. Then it happened again. (We still didn't know what we were playing!)

Daily practice rituals: Scales, scales and more scales.

The question you're asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): "How much does it weigh?" My answer: "Five pounds more than the tuba."

Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic: The people – just awesome people.

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