Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Van Buskirk’s interest in music stems from his parents taking him to see the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra when they played concerts at Lockport High School.
“As I got into high school and my interest in music grew, seeing and experiencing the Buffalo and Rochester orchestras was great,” he said. “They played the music that was more recent.”
After taking piano and saxophone lessons, Van Buskirk started playing the bass when he was 12, and his love of composing and improvising music took hold. Originally wanting to be a professional bass player, he eventually decided to share his passion with other people through teaching while studying for dual master’s degrees in composing and modern American music at Longy School of Music.
“I’m passionate about music and wanted to tell others about it,” he said. “Instead of telling my friends why it’s so great, I get to do that in a classroom.”
Along with writing classical music, Van Buskirk also writes music that is designed to be played through speakers; he specializes in music technology. His CD of electroacoustic music, titled “For the Love of Laughter,” was released in 2010 on Tell-Tale Music Media. The CD is available on iTunes as well as on Tell-Tale Media’s website.
“I think part of anyone engaging in art is that they want to share it,” he said.
While it wasn’t easy making a career in music, it’s been well worth the hardships, Van Buskirk said, adding that there were times when he couldn’t pay his rent. His hope is that his music inspires someone in the audience the same way he found inspiration in seeing orchestras play when he was younger.
“I hope to be able to pay that experience forward,” he said.
Van Buskirk has some advice for people who want to follow their passion, but may be hesitant to do so.
“I didn’t want to regret not giving it a shot,” he said. “If you truly love something and truly dedicate yourself to it, the money will follow.”Contact reporter Michael Canfield at 439-9222, ext. 6246, or follow him on Twitter @MikeCanfield36.