The Fox Journal

Student Newspaper

Famous composer performs at community event

By Nicole Krueger

Emmy award-winning musician Peter Buffett gave a special performance in UW-Fox’s Communication Arts Center (CAC) on Nov. 6.

The concert was held in conjunction with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region’s 25th anniversary celebration.

The invitation-only event was hosted in the CAC by its premiere sponsor, M&I Wealth Management and area sponsors Godfrey & Kahn, SECURA Insurance and the Schmidt Family Foundation/U.S. Venture.

Buffett, also a renowned author and philanthropist, incorporated multimedia and personal stories from his recent New York Times bestseller, Life Is What You Make It.

“The book is really the show, which is the idea of how you do find your own path and your way to fulfillment,” Buffett said.

Buffett shared his message of following one’s passions over conventions, transcending circumstances or status, the art of giving back and how ultimately it is the values – and what we give back to society – that shape and define us as individuals.

“I thought [Buffett’s message] was absolutely inspiring. The expectation was that he came from a life of privilege and he is the most down-to-earth man,” area resident Gail Popp said.

Buffett was raised in Omaha, Nebraska by billionaire investor William Buffett, but remained modest despite his wealthy upbringing.

He went to college unaware of his career goals and remained undecided for a year and a half.

“I didn’t have a narrowed definition of success. “That was key for me; defining success in very broad terms and not thinking that I wasn’t getting there if I wasn’t reaching some major milestone,” Buffett said.

Buffett realized his passion for music in college, after witnessing a dorm mate playing guitar.

The composer’s career began with writing music for MTV commercials in the 80s and the Fire Dance scene in the Oscar-winning film Dances with Wolves.

He also collaborated with recording artist Akon, as well as Grammy-winning artist Angelique Kidjo on The Blood and the Gold, a human rights-inspired song that debuted at a UN General Assembly event. “You never know when you’re doing a job what it’s going to lead to so you always want to do the best you can,” Buffett said.

Buffett’s presentation and musicality were well-received by audience members.

“I didn’t realize how much Peter has done in his career.

“It was very moving and the most important thing is I think it really opened up a lot of people’s eyes of what is going on in the world and how foundations can help make change,” attendee Jim Vandenboom said.

“It’s nice to feel like you’re making a difference,” Buffett said.

Buffett dined with guests at a banquet dinner following the concert and received a free copy of his motivational book.

For more information on Peter Buffett’s concert series Life Is What You Make It<: A Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett and how to obtain a copy of his book Life Is What You Make It, visit


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