Bob (Robert) Buckley was born in Brighton, England. At the age of nine he moved to Vancouver, Canada and now resides part of the year in Europe and part of the year in Canada.
Bob took up the piano at the age of nine and put it back down again when he realized that it was too heavy. In spite of grumblings from his family, he then took up the clarinet and later the saxophone, flute, guitar, and five-string banjo. He began composing almost immediately – initially for small groups and then for school bands and orchestras. When he was fourteen he toured Europe with the Kitsilano Boys Band and wrote his first large-scale work for concert band The British Columbia Suite.
Bob’s first love was jazz, especially improvisation, but with the discovery of Stravinsky, Bartok, and Ravel his music world opened up and his intention was to become an orchestral composer. He studied composition, conducting, and arranging at the University of Washington in Seattle and studied electronic music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. During this time he developed a love for rock music and grew his hair. Upon leaving university Bob started working professionally and appeared weekly on the CBC television series Let’s Go as keyboardist, saxophonist, and arranger as well as working six nights a week in a rock club. In his quest to combine rock, jazz, and symphonic music he formed the band Spring (London Records and Coast Records) and performed the original work Song Cycle with the Vancouver and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. Also, with the band Spring he had his first top ten single. Then, as a member of the rock bands Straight Lines (CBS Records) and Body Electric (A&M Records and Parallel One Records) his keyboard and songwriting talents contributed to five albums containing several top-ten singles. He received a gold record with the number one single Letting Go co-written with his long time music partner David Sinclair.
During this time Bob worked professionally as a composer, arranger, performer, producer, and conductor for many projects: records, commercials, audio-visuals, contemporary dance, musicals, symphonic works, feature films, and theme music for television series and specials. In 1986 he composed This Is My Home for the Canada Pavilion at Expo '86, a song that has been performed at every Canada Day since and has become like a second National Anthem. He composed the music for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, BC. He has done arrangements for Michael Bublé, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Simple Plan, The Tragically Hip, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, and Our Lady Peace, amongst others. He composed two musicals for the Charlottetown Festival and the musical Café Diablo that toured through Holland. He wrote the music for Tinsel, a musical that he created with award-winning British novelist Michelle Magorian. He has also composed music for several Axis Theatre productions including the upcoming production of Don Quixote. He has scored hundreds of television programs including the award-winning computer-animated series ReBoot, Transformers, Shadow Raiders, Dragon Booster, and Storm Hawks as well as the computer-animated movies Casper's Haunted Christmas, Scary Godmother – Halloween Spooktakular and Scary Godmother – The Revenge Of Jimmy. Most recently Bob scored the dramatic feature Mulligans which has been selling out film festivals across North America. He composed music for the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Olympics held in Vancouver.
Bob has also composed several works for concert band and stage band. His music is published by DeHaske, Hal Leonard, Barnhouse, Alfred, and NSMusico and is performed all over the world.
Bob and his wife, choreographer and writer Marlise McCormick, are creating live stage shows together combining music, dance, circus-arts, magic, and story telling. They have created several opening ceremonies together in Canada and in Europe and have already had success with their show Café Diablo that received standing ovations on every performance of its European tour.