Rock Ensemble Teacher Prepares Farewell Performance
MIAMI BEACH – (CBSMiami.com) — In his 40 years leading Miami Beach’s Sr. High School’s Rock Ensemble, Doug Burris hasn’t skipped a beat.
In fact, his legacy as a teacher who launched the first official School of Rock has had enormous success. Many of his students have gone on to pursue professional musical careers.
Now, Burris who has mostly taught from his wheelchair after Multiple Sclerosis left him paralyzed, is preparing to bid farewell to his own career as he plans to retire at the end of this school year.
But this music man is preparing a big time performance expected to crowd the school’s auditorium this Saturday night. The performers will include current and former students dating back to the early 70s when Burris himself got his start at the school.
Read Jasmine Kripalani’s full report here: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/04/26/rock-ensemble-teacher-prepares-farewell-performance/
Miami Beach Senior High Rock Ensemble Turns 40 and Its Creator, Doug Burris, Retires
The Miami Beach Senior High Rock Ensemble is a storied local institution.
Founded in September 1972, this program has allowed student musicians to travel the country and the world, playing as far away as Chicago and New York, as well as Japan in 2001. The ensemble has won award after award, even receiving a plaque of commendation from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1999.
And behind it all is Doug Burris.
He is the music teacher who arrived at Beach High four decades ago with a simple idea: Set up an after-school guitar group. And thanks to an understanding principal, Dr. Solomon Lichter, the teacher and his pupils were even allowed to focus on rock music.
That all happened one year after Burris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
|Miami Beach Senior High Rock Ensemble creator Doug Burris.|
At this point in his illness, Burris is physically incapacitated, a quadriplegic who needs assistance every day of his life. But after speaking with him for even a brief period of time, it’s surprising when he has to ask for help to drink some water — because though his body is not responsive, his voice booms across the room. And it’s obvious he hasn’t lost any of his legendary will and passion.