Wayne F. A. Bucknor

1972 - 

Wayne Bucknor, an associate professor in music at Oakwood University, is chair of the music department, a position he has held since 2011. A pianist, Bucknor first came to OU in 1998 to teach piano and music technology. A year earlier, he had started serving as Minister of Music for the Madison Mission Seventh-day Adventist Church in Madison, Alabama, a position he held until 2012.

Bucknor was born in Queens, New York, and grew up in Orlando, Florida. Raised in a musically talented family, he was the first to seriously pursue formal study in music, starting with piano lessons at age 6. He continued music study in Orlando with Drucilla Engel at the Iris Engel School of Music.

Following graduation from Edgewater High School in Orlando in 1989, Bucknor's music teacher contacted Oakwood, encouraging them to audition him. Shortly after he arrived on campus, he was playing in a practice room the week before school started when Lucile Lacy, music department chair, knocked on the door, gave him an impromptu audition on the spot, and encouraged him to consider being a double major.

Although initially planning to enroll as a computer science major, Bucknor took Lacy's advice and, five years later, graduated with both a B.A in piano performance and a B.S. in computer science. During the summer following his fourth year of study, he had an internship to ITT Hartford on the campus of the University of Hartford, where he had opportunity to observe what work would be like in the computer field. At that point, Bucknor decided to pursue music as a career.

Bucknor graduated from Alabama A & M University with an M.Mus.Ed. in 1998. He subsequently completed a D.M.A. in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Bucknor is also a songwriter, producer, and arranger for soloists and groups, including Virtue (I Must Tell Jesus, Angels Watching Over Me, Till You Believe [piano]), the Madison Mission Mass Choir (Great and Marvelous, Open Praise, Lord, We Have Come, etc.), Anointed Praise, Ann McCrary, Duawne Starling, Joyce and Robert Pressley, and others who have included his work for them on their recordings. He observes that songwriting is his passion and has hundreds of finished and unfinished songs.

In September and October 2006, he toured in Japan with the nationally known Grammy award-winning group Take 6, substituting for the ensemble's baritone, Cedric Dent. He found the reception given the group to be an exhilarating experience. In November 2008, he was honored as a Young Musical Legend by the NAD Vervent UCAA Conference.

During the 2007-2008 school year Bucknor served as interim director of the world famous OU Aeolians and the University Choir and now enjoys accompanying the Aeolians, directed by Jason Ferdinand. He also enjoys touring with a troupe of classically trained duo and solo pianists called the Keys of the Kingdom. He is often a featured presenter in gospel workshops, most recently participating in the fifth annual West Coast Gospel Music Symposium at Englewood, California, in September 2011.

Bucknor believes that "one's greatest act of worship is a life of obedience to the will of God." He is married to Carmen Byars and they have three children, Nina, Wayne II, and Cameryn.


Source: Oakwood University website biography; Information provided by Wayne Bucknor in 2009; West Coast Gospel Music Music Symposium, September 2011 brochure; Other online sources.