Velma Burnett


Velma Burnett is a composer/arranger living in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Velma holds a B.A. in Biology (minor German) from Rice University, 1968; Bachelor of Music (Theory/Composition) from Lamar University, 1986; and a Master of Music Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2003.

She is a member of Mud Creek Baptist Church in Hendersonville, NC, where she sings alto in the choir and rings in a new handbell group. She served as music theory/ear training instructor and choir accompanist, Trinity Valley Community College, Athens, TX, 2001-2011; church pianist, Northside Baptist Church, Corsicana, TX, 2004-2011; Music Assistant/Children's Choir Coordinator, Liberty Baptist Church, Hampton, VA, 1996-2001; and church pianist in several earlier churches.

Organizations of which she is a member include Choristers Guild, Handbell Musicians of America, the National Association for Music Education, and the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.

Published compositions include "Jesus Has Come", in Glory Songs, Vol. 1, No. 3, April 1981; piano descants "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "Now Thank We All Our God", in Pedalpoint, Vol. 11, No. 4, October 1991; piano descants "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come", "For the Beauty of the Earth", and "Now Thank We All Our God", in Piano Supplement to The Baptist Hymnal, Vol. II, Broadman Press, Nashville, 1994; and "Wayfaring Stranger" with "Come, Ye Sinners Poor and Needy", for 3-5 octaves handbells, Choristers Guild, 2006.

Unpublished works include several choral compositions for the Cardinal Singers and Chamber Singers of Trinity Valley Community College, Athens, TX, including "For Our Heritage of Freedom" (2006) and "Lift Up Your Heads" (2011); "Elise's Blues" (2004, for the Wild Card Swing Orchestra); and "Country Winter: A March for Concert Band" (2010).

Velma was born in Houston, TX, in 1946 and lists sewing, reading, and calligraphy as her hobbies. She is married to Jim Burnett, a retired National Park Service ranger; they have lived at or in 8 national parks all over the U.S.Jim is the author of 2 humorous books: Hey Ranger! True Tales of Humor and Misadventure from America's National Parks, and Hey Ranger 2! More True Tales of Humor and Misadventure from the Great Outdoors. Velma and Jim moved from Texas to North Carolina in 2011 to be closer to their adult children, Katherine Lewis and David Burnett.

"My experiences include working with children's choirs; ringing/directing handbells; and serving as congregational/choral accompanist in a variety of settings. I grew up enjoying singing in church choirs and learning to play the piano, and everything I learned was used again when, much later, I began to compose. I urge young people, "Love God, love people, and love learning; use every gift He gives you to help someone else; and always be thankful."