College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Percussion professor Buyer honored with top national award


Photo of Paul Buyer, percussion professor at Clemson University.
Paul Buyer, director of the music concentration in the Department of Performing Arts, will receive the oustanding service award from the Percussive Arts Society. Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

CLEMSON – Paul Buyer, director of music in the Department of Performing Arts, will be honored this month with a top national award by the 6,000-member Percussive Arts Society.

A professor who teaches percussion, Buyer oversees the Tiger Band Drumline and directs the Percussion Ensemble, the 23-member Steel Band and also the Gigging Steel Band, a six-person ensemble available for hire.

Buyer will receive the Percussive Arts Society’s outstanding service award at the organization’s annual meeting Nov. 15 in Indianapolis. The award recognizes Buyer’s contribution to the society and his three decades as an educator, including 22 years at Clemson University.

“It’s the highest honor I could possibly experience, to be recommended by my peers among all the other worthy people who have given back to PAS,” Buyer said.

“Paul’s service to the Percussive Arts Society is an extension of the wide range of work he does on behalf of the music concentration as director of music,” said Becky Becker, chair of the Department of Performing Arts. “We’re so proud of him for this prestigious award and grateful for his service to PAS, the department and Clemson University.”

Buyer received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, followed by a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

He is the author of “Marching Bands and Drumlines: Secrets of Success from the Best of the Best” and “Working Toward Excellence: 8 Values for Uncommon Success in Work and Life.” Buyer also is a popular speaker on related topics.

The Percussive Arts Society is a nonprofit organization of performers, educators and students at the high school, college and professional levels.

“It’s a family, a brotherhood in the percussion profession,” Buyer said. “It’s a society that did so much for me while I was in school, helping me to network and build relationships in the percussion profession,” Buyer said. “I would not be at Clemson if not for PAS. I’ve just been trying to give back as much as I could, so I’ve always said yes to anything they asked.”

Buyer served as the Percussive Arts Society’s second vice president from 2015-19. He is a past chair of its education committee and past leader of chapters in Indiana, Arizona, Texas and South Carolina. In addition, Buyer has written about 40 articles and serves as co-editorial director for the society’s journal, Percussive Notes. He also has mentored young percussion educators throughout the country.

Buyer has only missed two of the Percussive Arts Society’s annual conventions since he first became involved with the group in 1987. This year, the South Carolina organization will receive one of two awards for outstanding chapter.

“The work, service, support and advocacy our award winners do on behalf of PAS is remarkable,” said Joshua Simonds, executive director of the society. “These awards represent just a small token of our appreciation.”

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