Parts of this article originally appeared on Bainbridge Island Review on Aug. 30, 2019 and the Cook Family Funeral Home
For both long-time and new residents, Darden was known in our community for “First Sundays Concerts,” a concert series showcasing professional classical and jazz artists. But she was more than that. A musical pioneer, composer, performer, instructor, director, Darden’s musical influence is abiding.
Anne Smart, AHB’s Executive Director said,
“Darden has a long history with AHB and running her First Sundays Concerts and the Island Piano Association. She was an early adopter of Currents Online, attended a pre-launch workshop, and was on of the first artists to create an artist profile. She did all of this before we launched in June.”
Smart said that Darden’s passing was a big loss for the community.
“The First Sundays concerts are well attended and she brought people from all over to perform. We’re so excited that her daughter will be continuing with the First Sundays Concerts. AHB will remain supportive. “
Dinah Satterwhite, fine art photographer, event planner, and juror who runs the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour shared these thoughts on Darden:
I’ve known Darden Burns for over twenty years, meeting her shortly after I first moved to the island. I have taught piano since I was sixteen. Although I had been in hi-tech marketing before moving here, I decided to teach piano until I got a footing in the area. I quickly had a full slate of students, and then other jobs like The Studio Tour, and my photography business. Darden’s name was very prominent in the community as a well-respected piano teacher, so I called her one day and introduced myself. She was so graceful and kind, and welcomed me to the area. The Sunday Concert series that she started at the Waterfront Park Community Center was amazing. I’ve taken my family there, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it! I was thrilled when I heard that she was raising money to buy a grand piano for that location. What a wonderful idea that has come to full fruition, and blessed so many. That was Darden. A blessing to her students, her family, and her community. Thank you Darden. We love you and will miss you dearly.
Amelia, Darden’s youngest daughter shared this about her mother:
I’m Amelia, Darden’s youngest daughter. Although I can’t remember it, I know my mom was a natural & relaxed mother from the very start. She loved my sister Caitlin and I and told us often. From early on, I adored my mom & looked up to her. Early memories here at home include background piano music, an ever-growing beautiful garden & the smell of home-cooked meals.
I remember brushing my mom’s hair sitting on her bed, making picnic lunches we’d enjoy in the backyard, joining her yoga classes & mimicking as best as I could in the back. As early as I can remember, mom and I were close. Read more…
Darden H. Burns
June 18, 1954 – Aug. 22, 2019
Darden Burns was originally born on June 18, 1954 and grew up on the east coast living in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania; Riverside, Connecticut; and Concord, Massachusetts. She moved to the Seattle area in 1973 and to Bainbridge Island in 1984.