John Buccheri came to Northwestern in 1967 from the University of South Dakota. He earned his bachelor of music degree at Tufts University and an MA and PhD in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. During Buccheri's years at Northwestern, his work centered on music theory pedagogy, score analysis, and issues of rhythm analysis and meter. He served as a committee member for more than 50 doctoral and master's projects and team-taught several special courses with members of the music performance faculty. In recent years Buccheri's interest in comprehensive musicianship has focused on teaching improvisation to music students who lack an improvisation background. His popular undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory were legendary for their blend of practical application and scholarly understanding.
Buccheri presented over 100 papers and keynote addresses during his 37 years of college teaching and published in such journals as the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and the College Music Society Newsletter. He also developed innovative music software and is currently leading an effort to make college music archives available through digital audio serving technology.
The recipient of numerous awards, including the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship, the Northwestern Alumni Association Award for Teaching Excellence, and Northwestern's prestigious Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence, Buccheri served as the president of the College Music Society from 2001 to 2003 and remains active with that organization.