Classical composers are born not made…and Buckley Mills is no exception. As a child prodigy, he showed remarkable musical talent and a longing not only to play but to compose as well. Those early yearnings turned into a passion, which ultimately lead to the writing and production of Buckley Mills Symphony No. 1.
At the age of three, Buckley, craving his father’s attention, ran into his office, but his father, a professional musician, was tutoring a student. Young Buckley listened intently for a moment, and then ran into the next room. He picked up a violin and quickly learned to pluck the notes he had just heard. After mastering the song, he proudly walked back into the other youth’s music lesson, and distinctly played “Sweet Georgia Brown” for his father. In that instant, a violin virtuoso was born.
Under the tutelage of his father, Buckley’s capabilities continued to emerge, winning several regional talent contests and the respect of fellow musicians. His father also saw Buckley’s propensity for “perfect pitch,” a natural inclination which only enhances his classical abilities. At fourteen, Buckley became the youngest member of the Sioux City Symphony, with his Dad as his stand partner. Unfortunately, the pairing was short-lived. His father was diagnosed with cancer, and Buckley had to proceed alone.
After high school, Buckley became a Music Major at Morningside College in Sioux City. While there, he was asked to compose a classical piece for one of his classes – the instructor was in disbelief when he heard the composition and played it for everyone who would listen. At that point, Buckley knew he should pursue a career in classical music.
However, after college, those classical dreams were put on hold, but he continued to play music throughout the United States, performing with bands of all genres, from country and rock to classical and jazz; but ultimately, his heart belonged to classical music and although he continued to develop his craft, it would be several more years before his classical talent would surface again.
Seeking inspiration and new challenges, Buckley relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Although he was born in Illinois and raised in Iowa, he comments, “I didn’t move here, I just came back home.” Being surrounded by the creative energy of other musicians, singers, songwriters and entertainers, stimulated Buckley’s own artistry, and produced a jazz violin CD, “Violin On Fire,” released in 2010 by Chacra Records. The album garnered nationwide airplay on over 150 jazz radio stations and landed on 4 different jazz charts in addition to securing an endorsement deal with Anton Krutz – all of which only signifies the depth of his multi-layered skills.
Yet even during the success of his jazz release, his heart still yearned for classical music and he could no longer keep that desire on the back-burner; so, he began writing feverishly. A down-to-earth, humble man, with his feet firmly planted on the ground, he states, “Music is my gift, it’s from God.” That gift created his first official symphony, Buckley Mills Symphony No. 1. Buckley comments, “This is the best thing I’ve done musically so far. I love classical music and hope the listener can feel what I feel.”
With another symphony and violin concerto already in the works, classical composer, Buckley Mills, has just begun the building of an impressive repertoire.