Concert sponsors Peter and Karen Burk of Groton have been involved with Indian Hill in one way or another for over 30 years, and they are really looking forward to our new future at Groton Hill Music Center. We caught up with Peter for a few minutes to chat about the many ways the Burks and their family have participated in music at Indian Hill. The Burks have generously sponsored two Headliners Series concerts this season: The Mike Block Trio on February 12, and The New Black Eagle Jazz Band on March 4.
Q: How long have you been connected to Indian Hill Music?
P: I got involved with Indian Hill in the late ‘80’s when my grade school sons needed lessons. What a great surprise to find an excellent music education program and a fabulous professional orchestra right in our backyard.
Q: You have taken guitar lessons with Greg Passler as an adult student. What inspired you to take lessons as an adult?
P: My son Jonathan was one of Greg’s early guitar students. I hadn’t played since college, but watching Greg and Jon, my interest was rekindled. Later I started playing in Florida bars with a singer and Greg really helped me improve my playing. More recently, he recommended me for a blues rock band. Along with guitar, I play clarinet, sax, and blues harp, but I’m heading back to Indian Hill for more lessons in composition, a long- held interest that needs work. The Indian Hill connection has really enriched our lives.
Q: Multiple generations of your family have studied at Indian Hill. Tell us about that!
P: Three generations of Burks have taken lessons at Indian Hill, with grandsons Douglas, Dexter and Lincoln all taking part, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.
Q: This year you are concert sponsors for our Headliners Series – featuring outstanding artists in bluegrass/traditional music and jazz. What are your favorite kinds of music?
P: Our tastes are eclectic but we like classical, opera, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and Irish traditional.
Q: You are an alumnus of our Board of Directors. What inspired you to join the board, and why do you give to Indian Hill Music and our programs?
P: I was asked to join the board in the early ‘90’s and enjoyed the chance to work with so many great leaders who have helped shape the organization. It seems like only yesterday we were moving into the King Street building – and now look at what’s happening!
Indian Hill is truly a one-of-a-kind institution. An orchestra of the caliber of Orchestra of Indian Hill just isn’t found outside of major cities. We’re all excited about hearing our orchestra in the magnificent new Groton facility. Also, the educational opportunities Indian Hill provides have for decades made up for budget constraints in the local schools, so our children have access to the arts that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Add to that Indian Hill’s many outreach programs. My wife Karen, a retired hospice nurse, is appreciative of the ways the Indian Hill Threshold Singers hospice choir supports local families.
Q: As Groton residents, how do you feel about Groton Hill Music Center opening in your neighborhood soon?
P: Groton is going to benefit financially and culturally from the Groton Hill programs. Great care has been taken to create a win-win for the arts and for the town in general.
We are thankful to concert sponsors Peter and Karen for their generous ongoing involvement and support!