Bob Buckner is currently in his fourteenth year as the Director of Athletic Bands at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. A graduate of WCU, Bob began his teaching career at Sylva-Webster High School in Sylva, NC where he produced nationally recognized marching, concert, and jazz bands.
"Bob's fingerprints are all over Bands of America," says Scott McCormick, BOA President and CEO. "His contributions to the organization span four different decades."
The Sylva-Webster High School Marching Band was the Bands of America National Champion in 1979, at the BOA Summer Nationals held in Whitewater, Wisconsin, with Bob as director. Bob served on the Bands of America Advisory Board for several terms, and was instrumental in the development of Grand Nationals' Prelims, Semi-Finals, Finals format and the the early discussions that launched the National Concert Band Festival. He has been on the faculty of the BOA Summer Symposium since the early 1980's and his innovations in drill design more than 25 years ago helped set the direction for modern marching bands.
After leaving Sylva-Webster, Bob founded a band design and consulting firm, United Music Enterprises. Now in it's twenty-sixth year, this company continues to create championship marching shows for bands throughout the United States.
In addition to maintaining his business, Bob returned to teaching in 1987 at East Tennessee State University where he served as Director of Bands until 1991. He returned to Western Carolina University in 1991 to take over the athletic band program. The "Pride of the Mountains" Marching Band has grown from less than ninety members to its current membership of over three hundred and has thrilled thousands with their performances including Bands of America Regionals, Atlanta Falcon Football Halftimes, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals in both 1998 and 2003.
Bob's professional service includes serving as chairman of the Western North Carolina Bandmasters, serving as secretary of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, as well as his service to Bands of America as both a Board of Advisors and Adjudication Committee member.
Bob has served as an adjudicator, drill designer, guest conductor, and clinician throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has served on the staff of the "Spirit of Atlanta" Drum and Bugle Corps and in 1993 was the drill designer for the DCI Division II National Champion "Carolina Crown." In addition Bob wrote field shows for over twenty years for the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also served as a special consultant to the Walt Disney Company, where he started their popular "Future Corps" program and served on the Board of Advisors for "Magic Music Days." He continues to consult with Pygrapics, Inc., the world's leading drill design software producer. Bob was honored by Western Carolina University in 2003 by being chosen for the prestigious Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award for faculty. On March 10, 2005, Bob was honored by the Music Educators National Conference as a Lowell Mason Fellow. Bob's professional affiliations include the NCMENC, NAfME, CBDNA, the North Carolina Bandmaster's Association, and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Bob and his wife Donna reside in Waynesville, NC and are the parents of five adult children.