Dr. Jim Buckner is Professor of Music at Henderson State University where he teaches trumpet, high brass methods, and brass ensembles. In 2001, he received the Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Teaching; he is the faculty advisor for the Reddie Trumpet Guild and served as Contest Controller for the North American Brass Band Association Championships from 2008 to 2015.
Buckner previously taught at Illinois State University, Quincy University, Western Carolina University, Truman State University, and West High School in Waterloo, Iowa. He received the Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education from Iowa State University, the Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Music in Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University. He also studied with Arnold Jacobs (Chicago Symphony) and Susan Slaughter (St. Louis Symphony).
He has been principal trumpeter in the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 1990. Buckner has performed as first trumpet with the Arkansas Symphony, the Quincy (IL) Symphony, and the Brevard (NC) Chamber Orchestra and has been a member of the Asheville (NC) and the Waterloo‑Cedar Falls (IA) Symphonies.
A member of the Arkansas Brass quintet since 1990, Buckner has performed in brass quintets, brass choirs, and brass bands for over forty years. He has played in a number of jazz bands and combos and played first trumpet in Anything Goes, Mame, West Side Story, and in the national touring productions of Titanic and Peter Pan (with Cathy Rigby).
In September, 1995, Buckner performed a recital in the Glinka Hall at the Moscow International Trumpet Festival. He was a member of the Mississippi River Brass Band and was named Outstanding Soloist, Championship Division, at the fifth North American Brass Band Championships in Columbus, Ohio. While a member of the Smoky Mountain Brass Band, Buckner performed at the 1982 World's Fair (Knoxville, TN); he was a guest artist at the 1980 Trumpet Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
Buckner has been featured with several orchestras, including the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (Neruda Concerto, Purcell Sonata), the Illinois Wesleyan University Chamber Orchestra (Shostakovitch Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and Orchestra), the Quincy Symphony Orchestra (Arutunian Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra), and three times on the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 (Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Chamber Orchestra, and Northeast Missouri State University Festival Orchestra). He has been a featured soloist with public school, university, and community bands throughout the South and Midwest.