Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Trying to carve out a career in music can be an unpredictable path to take, and Lockport native Jeremy Van Buskirk had his detractors. He also had people in his life who encouraged him to follow his passion for music, and while he gleaned some motivation from the people saying he couldn’t make it work, the teachers who encouraged him were invaluable.
“Thankfully there were also positive voices,” he said, noting that his parents were a bit apprehensive of his proposed career choice. “To their credit, they supported it.”
Now the 40-year-old musician and composer holds a doctorate degree in music composition from Boston University and serves as a faculty member at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Mass. Van Buskirk has had his music performed by numerous orchestras and ensembles throughout the country.
On April 8, he will have an original composition played by the Harker School Orchestra, a private high school orchestra from San Jose, Calif., at the fourth annual Chicago International Music Fest.
“It’s a great collaboration,” he said. “It combines my passions. I get to write music, which is not something I do everyday, and they get to play something new.”
Van Buskirk lives just outside of Boston in Stoneham, Mass. with his wife, Mariko Matsumura, and two daughters, 4-year-old Mina and 8-month-old Mei. His wife is “a wonderful soprano,” he said, and his family is the one thing that means more than music.
“Music is one of the things that brought us together,” he said.
Growing up on Grant Street, Van Buskirk went to Lockport schools and graduated from Lockport High School in 1991. His mother, Linda, still lives on Grant Street, and he comes back to Lockport once or twice a year, usually during the holidays, he said.