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Mr. Burdett  teaches the 6th, 7th and 8th grade orchestras at Harmon Middle School and two high school orchestras; Concert Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Burdett earned his Bachelor's of Music Education from Kent State University in 1999 and a Master's of Education in Measurement and Assessment from Kent State in Dec. of 2008.

He has performed violin in the Cleveland / Akron area for the past 17 years including a concert in Playhouse Square with Christian Recording Artist Michael W. Smith and as Principle Second of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Eric Benjamin.  Mr. Burdett has also contributed his talents to three CD's, the latest with singer/songwriter Jessie Barr called "Along For the Ride" released in 2014.

Mr. Burdett lives in Aurora with his wife (Katie), 7 year old daughter, Ellie, 5 year old daughter Aubrey and 2 year old daughter Julia.

You may reach Mr. Burdett at or by phone at (330) 954-2130

Concert Orchestra SLO Baseline Data Collection.  Please take the following two "quizzes".  They will not effect your grade.  They are just to establish a baseline for what you are about to learn. :)
The Orchestra Plan
This is a great place where parents, students and substitute teachers can see what we are doing in orchestra class.  "The Plan" also contains links to videos, tuning recordings and other resources.  "The Plan" is updated often and is also shared on the homework hotline.
Week 1 - Week of August 19
Week 2 and 3 - Week of August 24
Week 4 and 5 - Week of Sept. 8
Week 6 and 7 - Week of Sept. 21
Week 8 and 9 - Week of Oct. 5
Orchestra News
Jr. High OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event (7th/8th GRADE ONLY)
On Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Stanton Middle School in Kent, students in grades 7-8 have the opportunity to display their talents and hard work at the Ohio Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event.    Students can participate through performing a solo and/or an ensemble of trio, quartet or quintet.  OMEA has a “recommended” list of music, however students can perform any piece that is within their difficulty level that they wish (no Disney or pop music please). The deadline to complete the online registration form and turn in your payment is Thursday, March 10, 2016.
Ashland String Camp (grades 5-8 only)
Its time for Ashland String Camp again.  This is a wonderful experience for our young students where they get to play their instruments with other students from around the state and work with Dr. Gillespie (from The Ohio State University) or with one of his excellent graduate students.  The deadline to return the form with your payment is Friday, March 4, 2016.
Disney Parent Information meeting
There will be a Disney Parent Information meeting on Thursday, March 3rd at 7:00 PM in the AHS Orchestra Room.  This meeting is NOT mandatory.  We will be going over the Disney Orchestra Handbook and answering any questions.  Please make sure that you complete the Emergency Medical / Insurance form at the back of the handbook and return it to Mr. Burdett.  No student will be allowed to go on the trip without this form.  Please also realize that the school policy regarding students taking medication of any kind (including over the counter) will be enforced.  Parents must complete the Medicine Distribution form located in the back of the Disney Handbook.  Include the form with your medicine in a clear plastic ziplock bag on the morning we leave for Disney.  Life saving medicines such as Epi Pens, inhalers, etc. should be kept on the child's person, but you should still give the form to Mr. Burdett and indicate where that medicine is located (in child's purse, or in pant pocket).
STEAK N STRINGS Benefit Dinner and Concert
Join the Aurora Orchestra Association on February 27, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Aurora High School Varsity Gymnasium for a delicious Outback Steak House dinner served at your table.  The Macedonia Outback Steak House will provide and cook your meal which will include their 9 oz. steak with sides, drinks and cheesecake.  A kid’s meal choice and vegetarian selection will also be available.  Entertainment will be provided by the AHS Orchestras with music from Pirates of the Caribbean, Aladdin and much more.  Presale tickets are required with an order deadline of February 13th.  No tickets will be sold at the door.  Dinner ticket proceeds go toward AOA student travel.

Raffle items will also be available to win, including tickets to concerts, golf outings, vacation packages and much more.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for raffle viewing and the raffle proceeds will benefit the AOA general fund.

Please click on the flyer and ticket order link below to order.  For more information, visit or contact Kathi at 216-952-8850 or

Steak N Strings flyer and order form.  You may also purchase tickets online at (click on Steak N strings)


Aurora Orchestra Solo Competition date has changed

The AOA Solo Competition date has been changed to FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2016 IN THE HARMON MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND ROOM.  You must register for this event by Thursday, February 18, 2016.  Please see the information sheet below for more information including scale requirements.  You must register for the event online using form below:

AOA Solo Competition Information

AOA Solo Competition Online Registration Form

Its concert time!!!!!!
The Harmon Orchestra Concert will be on Wednesday, Oct. 14th at 7:00 PM.  Please remember that this is a "costume" concert where students are encouraged to wear a costume as long as it meets the following three rules:
1.  You need to be able to play your instrument, see the music and hear well.  Masks can be worn walking onto the stage, but may need to be taken off while performing if they prevent you from hearing or seeing well.
2.  Costumes must still follow school rules.  No weapons (even fake props) and no drug references, no halter tops, etc.
3.  Don't make it too gory.  I don't want my children (or me) having nightmares.  I need my beauty sleep :)
7th/8th grade orchestra students should be in the AHS Orchestra room ready to tune by 6:30 PM
6th grade orchestra students should be in the AHS Choir room ready to tune by 6:20 PM.  Please be on time.
There will be an Aurora Orchestra Association (AOA) general meeting going on in the Auditorium at 6:30 PM.  This is intentional and is an opportunity to briefly explain to all of the orchestra parents what AOA does how the board positions work.  The meeting will be brief and will not delay the concert.
The Aurora High School Orchestra Concert  will be on Thursday, Oct. 22nd at Twinsburg HS at 7:00 PM.  This will be a joint concert between the AHS orchestras and the Twinsburg high school orchestra at Twinsburg HS.  Here is the schedule for the day:
3:00 PM - students at AHS to pack up instruments/uniforms and put on bus
3:20 PM - leave AHS by bus
4:00 PM - Free dinner is provided by Twinsburg Orchestra boosters
4:30-6:30 - rehearsal on stage at Twinsburg HS.  Then we will change into our concert uniforms (don't lose the hangers).
7:00 PM - free concert in Twinsburg HS Auditorium.
In preparation for the joint part of the concert, Twinsburg HS Orchestra will be coming to AHS to have a joint rehearsal with AHS Philharmonic Orchestra on Tuesday, Oct. 20th during regular 8th period class and lasting until 3:00 PM.  This is a mandatory rehearsal for all Philharmonic students.
Congratulations to Sarah Zhang and Amanda Hsieh for making it into the North East Ohio Regional Orchestra (NERO).  This is a huge honor to be admitted into this prestigious orchestra comprise of the most talented musicians in the Northeast region.  This is Sarah's second year being in the group. The NERO orchestra will rehearse several times that will culminate in a performance on Sunday, November 22nd at 2:00 PM at Cleveland State University.  Well done ladies!
Welcome back to school!  I hope you have had a fun and relaxing summer break.  I am looking forward learning and growing and making music with you this school year.  Parents: please take a moment and complete any necessary information in the following areas to make sure this school year goes smoothly and so your children can be successful.
1. Parent/Student Contact Info
2. Orchestra Calendar Date
3. Parent/Student Communication through "Remind"
4. Parent Volunteer opportunities through "Sign Up Genius"
5. Review the Orchestra Handbook so you understand all rules and obligations
6.  Orchestra Open House Information
Parent / Student Contact Info
Communication is very important.  Most information that you will need for the year is found on this website, however it is occasionally necessary to share changes, add information or even send out simple remind messages.  Often that will be done through the free "Remind" service mentioned below.  However, for longer or more complex messages we will send out emails or even call home.  Please complete the Parent/Student Contact Form so we can stay in touch. If your contact information changes during the course of the school year, please let me know.  Additionally, please feel free to contact me via email at (preferred) or by phone at (330) 954-2130.  In most cases I will get back to you within 24 hours during the week.
2015-2016 Orchestra Calendar Dates
   Please click on the Orchestra Calendar for an up to date list of concert dates and events. This is a Google Doc and any changes to the calendar during the school year will be reflected here.  I will try to notify you through Remind if there are any changes.
Parent / Student Communication

  Communication is very important.  Because we want to communicate in the best manner, we are doing away with the Charms email system in favor of "Remind".  The benefit is you can choose to receive communication through email or text and you are in control of when you want to end the service.

If you are a 6th Grade orchestra parent or the parent of a new orchestra student then you will need to sign up for this free service with one of the links below.  If you had already signed up for Remind last year and your information has not changed, then you don't need to do anything.  If you ever change your email or phone number, simply reply to one of the messages and respond "Unsubscribe". Then go to my website and resign up with
your new email address or phone number.

Harmon students and parents can find out how to sign up for texts or emails by clicking HERE

High School orchestra students and parents can find out how to sign up for texs or emails by clicking HERE
You will receive some duplicate messages that pertain to everyone if you
sign up for both, but some messages will be specific to each group.
Parent Involvement and Volunteer Opportunities
You've heard the phrase "many hands make light work" - this is especially true with the Aurora Orchestra Association.  This is the only booster group that provides opportunities and services to students at Harmon and Leighton as well as the high school.  We need your help to be able to continue to do this.  We are asking each orchestra family to sign up for 2 events.  It could be something as simple as baking cookies for concert refreshments.  There are opportunities for all abilities and interest levels.  Simply click on the link below and sign up to help for the event that interests you.  Already signed up but you can't remember what you volunteered for?  No problem.  Click on the link below and you will be able to see what you volunteered for.  Its easy because we are doing it together.  


Orchestra Handbook

The orchestra handbook is very important for understanding all rules and procedures.  Please take a moment and become familiar with this document.

Orchestra Handbook


Orchestra Open House Information

If you were unable to attend open house this year I have the packet posted online.  There is also a link to the Aurora Ultimate Boosters Membership Form.  HS students will also need the Uniform Cleaning Fee Form and HS Boys will need the Tuxedo Shirt/Bow Tie Order Form in the next section below.

Open House Packet

Ultimate Booster Membership Form


High School Orchestra Uniforms

Uniform fittings for incoming freshmen and new HS students take place on schedule handout day each year.  If students missed that opportunity, then we will size students during class with the first several weeks of school.  Every HS Orchestra student needs to pay the Uniform Cleaning Fee each year.  This form is handed out in class and is also available here - Orchestra Uniform Cleaning Fee

Male HS Orchestra Students will also need to purchase their own white Tuxedo shirt and black bow tie.  We can order these in bulk and get a better rate than you generally find in the store.  You are welcome to purchase the shirt and bow tie through us or on your own.  If your bowtie and shirt from last year still fit and are in good condition, then there is no need to order a new one.  The form is handed out in class and is also avialable here - Tuxedo Shirt / Bow Tie Order Form


We are in the final year of a grant from the Ohio Department of Education to use Smart Music with all 6-12th grade music students.  Orchestra has been using this for the past two years and it is a wonderful computer program that is very beneficial to our students.  Please make sure you are signed up for Smartmusic and that everything is working well.  All orchestra students have required Smartmusic assignments that will need to be completed throughout the year.  It is best if students do these assignments from home.  If a student cannot (no computer/instrument, etc) then the assignments can be done on school computers in the orchestra room before or after school.  Smartmusic requires that a program be installed on your home computer or via a free app from the Apple App Store.  Smartmusic does not work on chromebooks, iphones, ipods or android devices.  Smartmusic WILL WORK on PC and Apple Computers as well as Ipad2 or later generation.  I'm not sure if it will work on ipad mini.
Please follow the instructions to start using Smartmusic:
click on the Smartmusic icon on your computer.  As long as you remember your email/username from last year and your password (you were instructed to use your school computer login as your password) then you should be able to start using Smartmusic.  It will prompt you to update your profile (remember to change your grade level) and you may have to enroll in a class.  Some students have been prompted to "Redeem a code".  If that is the case, follow the instructions where it will take you to  Click on "Reedem a Code".  Under "Existing Customers" re-enter your email and password.  Then enter the following redemption code:
Once you do this you should be able to click on your smartmusic icon on your computer where you will login again and update your profile and enroll in your class.  If you have deleted the Smartmusic program from your computer, you can download it again at and click on "download Smartmusic" and follow the instructions.
New students will need to go to and click on "Reedem a Code".  Under "New Customers" click on "Create a new account".  Enter in all of the relevant information.  Please note: students under the age of 13 will need to type in a parent's email when prompted.  All other information (including name) is for the student.  Once you have created an account click on "Reedem a Code".  Under "Existing Customers" re-enter your email and password.  Then enter the following redemption code:
On that same screen you will be asked if you want to download Smartmusic.  Click yes and follow the instructions.  Remember: Smartmusic will only work on PC and Mac computers.  IT WILL NOT WORK ON YOUR CHROMEBOOK.  You can also download a free app for Ipad2 and above.  If you ever need to download Smartmusic from a different screen, then go to on your computer and click on "download Smartmusic".
Some computers have a built in microphone.  Test Smartmusic using the built in microphone to see if the quality is good enough.  If the quality of the microphone is not good enough, you can order an inexpensive yet excellent quality microphone at ($19.95).  Simply click on "Store" and scroll down to the microphone section.  The PC microphone is $19.95.  The Mac version is $29.95 because it requires an adapter (included).

Students, parents and school faculty receive free Tech Support Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM ET. If an issue arises the number to call is 866.240.4041.

IPAD USERS - Once a student has an account they may go to the App Store and download the free SmartMusic iPad App. Make sure that they DO NOT download the ‘SmartMusic InBox’ App as this is the wrong one. SmartMusic currently is not operational on Android devices or Cloud-based devices.

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