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Charles Burrell inspiration for Aurora Public Schools new campus

New school in Aurora named after prominent musician Charles Burrell
New school in Aurora named after prominent musician Charles Burrell 01:01

Aurora Public Schools has a graduation rate that's jumped to 76% in the last decade. Students headed back to class this week, and that includes the new Burrell campus named after Charles Burrell.

The 101-year-old is a prominent African American musician, an upright bassist who was key in the Five Points jazz scene.


Burrell is known as the Jackie Robinson of music for helping break the color barrier in classical music. He joined what's now known as the Colorado Symphony in 1949.

Burrell's name is a perfect fit on the campus creating a pathway to the arts, whether it's music, performance or visual arts.

The staff hopes students will learn and take risks as Burrell did.


"He really exemplifies perseverance, he exemplifies somebody who really worked hard and had to address a lot of challenges in his life but continued to pursue and overcome those obstacles," said Jessica Brown,  Director of Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus. "And so here at Burrell, we know that our students will be working hard and persevering and experiencing the arts."

The work at the Burrell campus is part of Aurora Public Schools' efforts to create a community of success. Over the weekend, thousands of families went to the 14th annual back-to-school kick-off.

The district gave away 6,000 backpacks full of supplies to remove roadblocks to success.

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