Barbara Buehlman was one of the first American women band directors to receive national recognition. Her grade school and junior high school bands in Round Lake, Illinois enjoyed a national reputation and were frequently invited to perform at national conferences. She wrote numerous band arrangements, several of which are still in print and included on the repertoire lists for state festivals.
Buehlman was equally well known for her work as an administrator. From 1980–1997, she served as Executive Administrator of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. During her tenure, the Midwest expanded in both size and scope, becoming the largest instrumental music education conference in the world. She held similar administrative positions with the Illinois Grade School Music Association and the Northshore Concert Band, and was the second woman to be elected to the American Bandmasters Association and to be given the Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor. Inspired by her career, women band directors became more and more common, and numerous directors have acknowledged Buehlman as a role model.