Velma Burnett has been at the core of the Trinity Valley Community College Music Department for a decade. At the end of this semester, she will be leaving the college.
To honor her service, the college will be presenting a tribute concert.
The concert, titled The Music of Velma Burnett, will be May 1 at Dogwood Church in Athens. The event, a collaboration between TVCC and the Lakeland Community Concert Association, will begin at 3 p.m.
Burnett has taught various courses, including music theory and ear training, to TVCC students since 2001. She will be relocating to North Carolina in May to be closer to her grown children.
“Over all of my career I have been around many theory teachers and she is the best I have ever seen,” said TVCC Choir Director Dr. Byron McGilvray. “She is student oriented, her attitude is always upbeat and positive and she is a remarkable teacher.”
McGilvray said it will be difficult to see Burnett leave and that a concert in her honor seemed to be a fitting farewell.
“We will be presenting many of her musical compositions,” said McGilvray. “It’s just going to be a celebration to her contribution to the music world and to us specifically. She’s been an incredible influence on this department.”
The concert will include pieces that longtime patrons of TVCC’s concerts have heard before, said McGilvray, because Burnett wrote many of the pieces for concerts over the years. The event will feature the Cardinal Singers, the Chamber Singers and the TVCC Symphonic Band.
Burnett said she first learned about the concert a couple of months ago, when McGilvray asked her for everything she had written over the years.
“It’s an amazing honor,” she said. “Dr. McGilvray is very selective in the music he chooses for concerts and so for him to have chosen me is wonderful. I am awed and humbled.”
Burnett said the concert will open with her last original composition for the TVCC Music Department, a fanfare based on the Psalms.
In addition to Burnett’s original compositions, the concert will also include music Burnett enjoys from other composers.
As is the case at all TVCC Music Department presentations, there is no charge for admission. The church is located at 6467 Farm-to-Market Road 2494 in Athens.