Alan "Buz" Kohan BM 55, MM 56

After graduating from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, Alan “Buz” Kohan went on to the Eastman School of Music, where he got his Bachelor of Music degree in 1955, and his Master of Music degree in 1956 with a major in Composition. He also got some valuable experience: for his Master’s thesis, he was given permission by Dr. Howard Hanson to write and produce a musical revue. The experience of writing, staging, and directing that show, says Buz, was an opportunity he would have had nowhere else but at Eastman, and he states: “My gratitude is never-ending.”

The same thing could be said of Buz Kohan’s career: over forty years (so far) of work in nearly every capacity that the television, music, and entertainment industries can offer: as writer, composer, lyricist, producer, arranger, and creative consultant. He has written slapstick for Carol Burnett, sentiment for Perry Como, and snappy patter for everyone from Luciano Pavarotti to Miss Piggy – and a few hit records, for Michael Jackson and David Bowie among others.

He has also written scripts, music, and lyrics for a vast number of television awards shows and specials. For his efforts, he has won no fewer than 13 Emmy Awards, the second-highest individual total in television history. Buz has also received a long, long list of other broadcasting and media awards. The Eastman School is very pleased that he has taken on a new challenge in writing: this year’s Commencement Address.

I am very happy to present to you Alan “Buz” Kohan.

Rochester, New York
May 21, 2006