Youth orchestra gets new conductor

James Buchan, the newest conductor for the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras (SEMYO), brings with him a lifetime of world-class experience.

Buchan will lead the Chamber Strings Ensemble, one of five performing ensembles for young musicians.

The Chamber Strings consists of players with one to two years of performance experience in grades three through eight.

A native of Winona, Buchan studied violin with Josef Gingold at Indiana University School of Music.

He was a member of Michael Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphony in Miami, performed chamber music with Scott Nickrenz and Paula Robison on the New World’s chamber music series, and was a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for nine seasons.


In 1997, Buchan performed at the British ceremony to hand over Hong Kong to China.

He can also be heard on the recording of Tan Dun’s Symphony 1997 with Yo Yo Ma and on a CD with Michael Tilson Thomas and other artists.

In addition to his performance background, Buchan has held teaching positions at Viterbo University Preparatory Music School and Yew Chung International School in Hong Kong.

He has been a guest clinician in the Winona and La Crosse public schools and a string specialist/violin coach for the La Crosse Youth Symphony Orchestras.

For more information about SEMYO, call 282-1718 or visit

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