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Meet Bruce Klepper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruce Klepper.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Bruce. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have played music since I was child – accordion, piano, guitar, clarinet, you name it. When it came time to go to college, I wanted to be a music major and eventually, my parents gave in (“how are you going to make a living with music?”). I received a degree in music composition and theory, but after all that hard work, I decided (oh, I hear my parents saying it again) that I could not make a living composing music because I did not want to write commercial music. So, in 1978, with $800, a car and a lot of books, I moved to Colorado with a friend. After that, my father kept saying, “when are you coming back…”, but I loved it here in Colorado and knew I could make it work. I continued to write music, worked at various jobs, but was ambitious and wanted to be financially able to eventually live life on my own terms and write music.

In 1986, I started a company with two friends. Personal computers were just coming out and we had the idea of automating retail stores, providing complete point-of-sale systems (hardware, software, training, and support) for the small to medium-sized retailers in the US. We quickly took off and within a few years had 200-300 “mom and pop” retail stores in Colorado using our system – many stores were in the Colorado ski towns and local shopping areas. We grew to a company with over 1,000 customers worldwide: small specialty stores, museums, national parks, zoos, sports stadiums, hotel gift shops, and many other retail locations.

I bought my partners out and worked hard building and running the company; I stopped composing music in the early years but always loved to play piano, improvise and come up with new musical ideas. Finally, after 25 years in business, I sold my company! I worked for the new owner for two years, retired, and then started doing what I always wanted to do: write music, travel, spend more time with my loved ones and live life to the fullest.

In 2016, I was introduced to Marie-Jose Payannet from Danse Etoile (www.danseetoile.org) and started writing ballet and contemporary dance music for her. Danse Etoile is dedicated to producing wonderful artistic performances, programs, and instruction, making ballet accessible to people of all ages. I learned quickly what Marie liked and took to writing music for dance. I have written many pieces for a number of ballets over the last three-plus years with great success and joy.

Today my music can be heard on SoundCloud. I have over 1,200 followers and have had over 50,000 listens worldwide. I have collaborated with other musicians around the world and worked with professional vocalists in the US and Internationally. My music has been used for short films, marketing videos for choreography centers, and I am in the process of developing relationships with ballet companies in different parts of the world.

The greatest satisfaction I receive today is having dancers of all ages come up to me after a performance telling me how much they love my music and how they dance and practice every day to the music.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In 2009, my wife passed away suddenly from an undiagnosed illness. On top of this, the economy tanked in 2009 and it was a very difficult time in business. Making payroll for 40 employees was always a challenge during difficult times. Competition became greater as we grew and worked in different markets and geographical locations.

When I owned my company, I learned to stay focused, persevere and work through tough times. Today I am working hard on meeting the challenges of writing music in many styles and genres. I am always thinking of the next step and where I can take my music.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I write music in many styles, focusing on “contemporary classical” music and contemporary dance music. Some of the recent ballets that I have worked on are The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, Snow White, and the Seven Dwarfs and The Arabian Nights which will take place this June in Boulder CO.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My goal is to have ballet schools worldwide use my music. I am developing a website that ballet schools can use to download my music for practice and performance. I want to continue to build my audience of worldwide listeners and hope to leave a legacy of children dancing to my music – uplifting and making their lives richer and happier through music.

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