Mr. Van Buren has a bachelors degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and a masters degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music. He spent thirty-three years as a music educator and is retired from his position as a band director at Penfield High School in Penfield, New York. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York and currently supervises student teachers for SUNY Fredonia. Mr. Van Buren is an All-State adjudicator for the New York State School Music Association and a freelance adjudicator/clinician throughout New York State and Canada. As a professional musician, Mr. Van Buren performs in various commercial, jazz, and classical settings. He has performed on saxophone as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, the Gap Mangione Big Band, and plays first clarinet in the Greater Rochester Music Educators Wind Band. He has performed with many nationally known groups and entertainers including Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, The Temptations, Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield and the Harry James and Benny Goodman tribute bands. He is a member of the New York State School Music Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the Association of Concert Bands. He is a founding member of the New York State Band Directors Association, and is the first recipient of NYSBDA’s Outstanding Band Director Award. He has also served as President of both the Ontario and Monroe County New York School Music Associations.
Dick brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. In June of 2010 he retired from the Fairport Central School District after a 35-year career teaching brass instruments and conducting bands at all levels. He enjoys a statewide reputation as an outstanding brass teacher and under his direction the Martha Brown Concert Band received the highest ratings in history of any middle school concert band in New York State at NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Major Organization Festivals, including a record nine consecutive Level IV Gold with Distinction ratings. Dick has made guest conducting appearances with various festival bands and has been a frequent presenter at annual conferences sponsored by NYSSMA and NYSBDA Meet the New Conductor By Chuck Van Buren (New York State Band Directors Association), in brass pedagogy and instruction, as well as specialization in providing technology solutions to music educators in the areas of data management, desktop publishing and the development of organizational skills. Dick served as a member of the NYSBDA Executive Board and chaired the NYSBDA statewide Middle School Honor Band Program for seven years. In 2006, NYSBDA honored Dick by presenting him with their Outstanding Service Award. In 2005, Dick was selected as the Martha Brown Middle School teacher of the year. Dick remains active as a NYSSMA All-State brass adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician.