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SPIRITUAL TO THE BONE
STEPHEN BULLA began his musical instruction at age six, growing up in a musical household where his father played tuba and his mother played piano. He eventually graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied trombone with Phil Wilson and Composition/Arranging with Herb Pomeroy.
In 1980 he won an audition for the position of Staff Arranger to "The President's Own" United States Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra in Washington DC. For the next thirty years he would provide musical scores for myriad White House events, beginning with the Reagan era until 2010.
Working alongside film score legend John Williams he has transcribed music from "Star Wars", "Catch Me If You Can", and "Close Encounters" for performances by the Marine Band with the composer conducting. He has also scored music for the Discovery Channel ("Wings of the Luftwaffe" and "Century of Flight") and PBS television series "In Performance At The White House." Here artists including Sarah Vaughan, The Manhattan Transfer, Mel Torme, Doc Severinsen, Nell Carter, Shirley Jones, Larry Gatlin, and Jordan Sparks performed his arrangements.
His commissioned concert works are performed and recorded internationally. The Dutch, British, Swiss and New Zealand Brass Band Championship organizations have all commissioned test pieces from his pen. According to a recent ASCAP survey his music has been used on the following television programs: CSI Miami, Cold Case, Jag, Joan of Arcadia, Without A Trace, Guiding Light, Ren and Stimpy, 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, and Survivor.
One of many career highlights to date was a commission from the Library of Congress to complete and orchestrate the last known manuscript march of John Philip Sousa. That music with a recording is available free from the Library's web site.
For fifteen years he conducted the National Capital Band (Washington DC), producing several CDs and touring Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and Scandinavia while directing this ensemble. He presently serves as artistic director and principal conductor for New England Brass Band and Brass Of The Potomac. Both of these fine ensembles are non-profit organizations providing music for community events, arts programs, and educational outreach in local public schools.
Stephen Bulla is a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) and has received that organization's Performance Award annually since 1984. He travels often as a guest conductor for All-State band events around the country.