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Blinn names Dr. Sarah Burke new director of bands

Burke has served on Blinn music faculty since 2007

May 26, 2015

Dr. Sarah BurkeBlinn College has named Dr. Sarah Burke its new director of bands.

A member of Blinn’s Division of Visual & Performing Arts faculty since 2007, Burke previously served as assistant director of bands and director of percussion studies, and also serves as principal percussionist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra.

“Dr. Burke is an excellent musician who is eager to share her knowledge and passion with Blinn College’s band members and the community,” said Dr. Marcelo Bussiki, dean of the Division of Visual & Performing Arts. “As an accomplished percussionist and active performer, she is an inspiration to our students and personifies the very definition of excellence in music.  I am sure that she will advance the many accomplishments of previous directors Larry Campbell and Harry Blake.”

A founding member of the Spindrift Percussion Group, Burke has promoted contemporary percussion music by commissioning several new works for percussion quartet, and helped to coordinate a commissioning project at Blinn that produced “Remembrance” by Michael Burritt.

Burke has performed as a featured soloist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Blinn College Band, the Rutgers University Orchestra and the Texas Tech University Orchestra, and has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, St. Bartholomew’s and St. Thomas’s in New York City. She has been a guest artist/clinician at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Convention, Texas Tech University, the University of Arkansas, the College Station Night of Percussion and numerous high schools across Texas. She has also performed with the Lubbock and Big Spring symphonies.

The Blinn College Band includes 125 members, drawing music and non-music majors from high schools throughout the state of Texas. The band is active throughout the academic year, appearing at halftime shows during the football season, regional and area UIL marching band contests, campus concerts and a concert tour each spring. The band also hosts and performs the annual Buccaneer Marching Band Festival each Fall.

The band is part of Blinn’s Music Department, which offers small classes, one-on-one attention, practical learning and easily accessible faculty. Blinn offers a variety of music ensembles, including the marching band, wind symphony/symphonic band, jazz ensemble, steel band, woodwind ensemble, brass ensemble, marching auxiliaries, percussion ensemble, choral union, women’s chorus and select choral ensemble in addition to individual instruction in string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, piano and voice study.

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About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

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