Heather Buchman is director of the Hamilton College Orchestra and Chamber Music program and Chair of the Department of Music. She has served as Education and Outreach Conductor for Symphoria, Syracuse’s professional orchestra. She has developed numerous innovative programs for Symphoria, as well as for the orchestral and chamber programs at Hamilton College. She appears freqently as conductor and trombonist with the Society for New Music and other organizations.
In her work with Symphoria she developed several innovative programs for the orchestra’s Kids and Spark series. She has also developed various artistic collaborations at Hamilton College, including a fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and a new interdisciplinary event, called Sight/Sound/Spoken, mixing chamber music with performances by creative writers and displays of student artwork. Her interests include experimenting with concert format; performing in nontraditional, informal, and architecturally unique spaces; mixing performance and education (as in the Brainstorm series with Hamilton College Orchestra); and in a wide range of collaborative work.
Buchman’s work in regional arts advocacy has been recognized by a citation from the Society for New Music in 2013 and Civic Morning Musicals’ Ruth Edson Award in 2014. She serves on the board of CNY Arts, a regional organization working with NY State Council on the Arts and other funders for supporting and promoting arts and culture in Central New York. In 2012 she received Hamilton College’s Class of 1963 Award for Outstanding Teaching. She served on the ad hoc committee that developed Hamilton College's educational goals.
Buchman completed professional studies in conducting at the Juilliard School, earned a M.M. in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and a B. Mus. degree in trombone from the Eastman School of Music. More recent studies include conducting workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia.
She served as Principal Trombonist of the San Diego Symphony from 1988-1997. She won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany and the New York Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition.
A more recent path of exploration has been the study of ballet. She explores the parallels and intersections between music and dance in her teaching and in performance. Other interests include the connections between music/sound and other art forms and fields, and developing collaborations grounded in these connections. She also maintains her own website.