A native of Toledo, Ohio, Ms. Burwell began her violin studies at the age of 10. She attended the University of Toledo and graduated with a degree in Music Performance at Toledo University. While attending the university, Ms. Burwell was the featured soloist with the university orchestra performing, Havanese by C. Saint Saens. Her musical development has been influenced by studying with the concertmaster of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Symphony, private instructors, the late Betty Foster and the late Lorene Gunderson. Ms. Burwell continued her studies at Penn State University and performed with the graduate chamber orchestra which toured in Poland. Ms. Burwell returned to Ohio and was the concertmaster of the Lima Symphony Orchestra and a violinist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra for 4 years.
Upon moving to San Antonio, Texas in 1983, Ms. Burwell taught orchestra in the Alamo Heights School District and the San Antonio Independent School District along with performing with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, Ms. Burwell moved to Austin where she excelled as an orchestra teacher in the Austin Independent School District. Ms. Burwell holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration from Texas State University. Currently, Ms. Burwell is a 8th-grade assistant principal at Running Brushy Middle School in Leander Independent School District. In prior years she was an elementary assistant principal in Pflugerville Independent School District for thirteen years. Ms. Burwell has also taught third and fifth grade at Sims Elementary School in Austin Independent School District.
Pflugerville ISD has benefited from Ms. Burwell’s skill as a musician. In 2000 a district youth orchestra was formed under her leadership. The youth orchestra was such an early success that the orchestra received a resolution from State Representative Jack Stick for their orchestral accomplishments at their first competition. As a result of Ms. Burwell efforts of establishing an orchestra program in PISD she received the Administrator’s Excellence Award from the Texas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association at the 2009 Texas Music Educators Convention held in San Antonio, Texas. This award is given to an administrator who has made a significant contribution to a school orchestra program either by imitating a string program or expanding an existing string orchestra program. Currently, Ms. Burwell is an Assistant Principal at a Middle School in Leander ISD.
Ms. Burwell continues to perform extensively with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Due to her dedication in motivating and inspiring students to excel in music, Ms. Burwell performs with the Austin Symphony Orchestra each spring for high schools along with the young peoples concerts held in the Austin area.
In the spring of 2010, Ms. Burwell was honored with the Connie Yerwood-Conner African American Women’s Profile of Prominence award in the area of Arts/Music. This award is given to outstanding African American women in the Austin Metroplex area.
Ms.Burwell professional affiliations include the Texas Secondary Principals and Supervisors Association, American String Teachers Organization, TexASTA, The Women’s Symphony League of Austin, and has recently joined the Texas Music Administrators Conference along with serving on the Austin Chamber Music Board.