On August 4, 1979, Gerald became the fifth of five children born to Harold & Willie Eva (Rufus) Burnett in Dallas, Texas. Growing up in the Burnett family meant that Gerald would be raised in a loving, Christian home where the two most revered books were the Bible and a hymn book. Most days and nights were filled with scripture reading, prayer, and Christian music – singing and listening. Even through to his adult life, Gerald, along with his parents and siblings, have been in demand to sing at funerals, weddings, and other special events. The Burnett5 siblings did not have the option of saying no when it came to singing. In the Burnett household, whether they wanted to or not, musical performing was demanded at most church functions. Gerald eventually developed into a young man of deep Christian convictions, especially as expressed in his gift of music.
Gerald became passionate about his faith in God, and his love for music would take Gerald to wonderful heights. He began his faith walk at the age of 9 when he was baptized into Christ at the Mountain View Church of Christ. Joining his siblings, Gerald would become active in youth activities, especially the youth chorus. It became obvious that Gerald was a leader. Stepping in right behind his father, Gerald become active in directing congregational singing and in choral conducting.
To further develop his musical skills, Harold & Willie Eva encouraged Gerald to pursue more formal music education in the public school. Gerald attended R. C. Buckner Elementary School. At Maynard Jackson intermediate school, his music teacher highly recommended that he further develop his musical skills in the school’s music cluster. There he began studying piano along with more participation in choir. Greiner Middle School is where he really began to flourish musically. Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is where Gerald excelled in music theory, piano, and choral singing. It was at Booker T. that Gerald, for the first time, took formal voice lessons which included opera. While there, Gerald performed in many musical competitions where he received musical accolades and high ratings.
After graduating from Arts Magnet in 1997 and following in the path of his parents and siblings, Gerald enrolled at Southwestern Christian College. He enriched himself deeper and deeper into music while growing stronger in his Christian faith. At Southwestern, Gerald developed a love for music composition and engineering under the tutelage and mentorship of Barry Graham. While there, Gerald was an active member in the acapella chorus, Summer Tour 98-99, and student director under the direction of Amy Johnson-Walker.
Gerald continued his journey of music at Oklahoma Christian University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in music in 2001. While there, Gerald was a member of the Chamber Singers and university choir.
Gerald began G-Note Productions and Studio where he wrote, composed, arranged, and engineered five albums that included various genres of music including classical, contemporary, gospel, contemporary gospel, jazz, negro spirituals, and choral. He also produced and recorded albums for many other artists of which he took great pride and joy. Because of his unique style of teaching different musical genres, he was in high demand to teach and conduct musical workshops throughout the country.
He began his professional career as an educator of music in Lancaster ISD. From there he went to Duncanville ISD where he served as choral director for Reed Middle School and Kennemer Middle School for 15 years. There he received awards for Teacher of the Year. He also wrote the school song for Kennemer Middle School. His choirs consistently received the highest ratings attainable in UIL choral competitions. In the fall of 2020, Gerald began as the assistant choral director at DeSoto High School working alongside Pamela Dawson, the DeSoto High School music choral director. During his short time at DeSoto High, Gerald produced an amazing virtual choir. On December 22, 2021, they performed the “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” virtual concert; what would be Gerald’s last school project.
In addition to his musical accomplishments, he was the Minister of Music at the Mountain View Church of Christ for 20 years. During his tenure there, he served as choral director, following in his father’s footsteps. He served alongside his sister, Carole, and cousin, Barbara Amie. He also produced three albums with the Mountain View Chorus.
In 2016, Gerald married the love of his life and best friend, Frederica Smith. To their union came Gerald Burnett, II (known as Deuce). Gerald thought he would never be able to have kids, so when Deuce came along, it changed Gerald’s entire world. His bond with his son was indescribable and unbreakable. Gerald also developed a strong relationship with his bonus son, Aiden Groce, of which he loved and adored.
Gerald leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Drica, and sons, Deuce and Aiden, and his musically gifted family including his parents, Harold & Willie Eva Burnett, and his siblings, Sharyl, Harold III, Carole, and Daryl. Regrettably, this leaves the Burnett5 ensemble short that beautifully rich tenor voice that only Gerald could provide. He leaves a host of other relatives and friends to cherish his great memories.
We look forward to his legacy continuing through Gerald Burnett, II, a/k/a Deuce. Stay tuned……..
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