Nia Harris Burnley, Piano
Nia has played piano since the age of three and the clarinet since the 4th grade. She has participated in advanced school bands and orchestras each year. To satisfy her interest in playing jazz, she participated in Bishop McNamara’s Jazz Summer Camp and attended the Washington Jazz Arts Institute during the summer of 2015. In November 2015 Nia auditioned for the inaugural FAME Jazz Band Program. She attended FAME’s weekly academic tutoring sessions conducted by Innovative Study Techniques, private saxophone lessons, sectionals and rehearsals, advanced music theory, and attended FAME’s Summer Music Technology Program. Nia participated in performances at the Berklee School of Music, Focused on the Future TV show, Lake Arbor Jazz Festival, and many more.
Nia recently graduated from Bishop McNamara High School with a 3.7 GPA and received numerous academic and musical awards including Summa Cum Laude, The Jazz Lab Directors Award, The Ellen Mercer Scholarship Award and The John Phillip Sousa Award. She was involved in the National Honors Society, English Honors Society, Fine Arts Diploma Program; and President of the Tri-M Music Honors Society and Student Council Cabinet. She was accepted into several colleges: St. John’s University, Hampton University, Duquesne University, Howard University, University of Baltimore County, Temple University, and University of Miami School of Music. This Fall Nia will major in business with a music minor at Howard University.
Nia attributes her interest in jazz to her grandfather, the late legendary jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris. She is grateful to her parents, Yvonne and Kenneth Burnley, and her grandmother, Sara Harris, who always encourage her musical and academic pursuits. Nia remarked that “participation in the FAME programs enabled me to achieve advanced academic and artistic goals”.