Rock Ensemble’s 40th Anniversary Concert

Doug Burris: “This was the concert that we’ve been rehearsing four decades for …  40 years in the making, it was absolutely amazing!”

This was the final performance of the Rock Ensemble under the direction of Doug Burris. Mr. Burris had an incredibly successful career as an educator – he has been and continues to be an inspiration to his students and to everyone who knows him, personifying some fundamental lessons for mankind. Now, Doug moves forward to new challenges – with a huge cheering section.
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Doug Burris has been an incredible music teacher, mentor, and guiding light far beyond his classroom. He has inspired generations of students and set them on a course towards success and achievement. Doug overcomes truly major obstacles every single day in order to contribute to our community and our country and his example has been a great motivation for thousands of people.”

Paul Novack
Former Mayor, MBSHS Hall of Fame 2011

The 40th Anniversary Concert featured performances by groups made up of past members of RE over the years including some heavy hitters like:

Friends and supporters of Doug Burris and the MBSH Rock Ensemble include:
Tom Dowd –
The Gibb Family –
Rudy Perez –
Allison Novack –
Max Weinberg –

WATCH! amazing videos:
The Doug Burris Story:
CBS Sunday Morning News:


  • Mr. Burris received his Masters Degree in Music Education in January of 1971 from the University of Miami (His principle instrument at this time was the classical guitar)
  • June, 1971, Mr. Burris was hired by Dr. Solomon Lichter to teach guitar at Miami Beach High School in Miami Beach, Florida.
  • September, 1972 the Rock Ensemble was established.
  • The group has won many honors and been featured on CNN, CBS, MTV, SOBE TV and Numerous Newspapers and Magazines
  • The Rock Ensemble has been invited, traveled and consistently won TOP Honors for Miami Beach Senior High at competitions in Lakeland, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, Atlanta, Georgia, New York, New York, Chicago, Illinois and Orlando, Florida.
  • April, 1999 the group was invited to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. They were awarded a plaque commending the ensemble for “Rockin’ the Planet Since 1972.”
  • November 10, 2000 Mr. Burris was inducted into the Miami Beach Senior High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame in “Recognition of his Achievements and Contributions to Society.”
  • The Miami Beach High School Guitar Ensemble has established itself as one of the premier high school musical performing groups in the United States. In addition to their many “Superior” ratings and First Place trophies
  • October, 2001 the Guitar Ensemble was awarded a grant by the State of Florida, the city of Miami and city of Miami Beach that enabled them to travel and perform in many cities throughout Japan including the International Peace Summit in Kagoshima. The Guitar Ensemble performed with other groups from Perth, Australia, Milan, Italy, Changsha, China.

Recent AWARDS:

  • 2003 – The National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Achievement Award, presented at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Convention
  • February 10, 2005 – The Opperman Citation For Outstanding Accomplishment In Teaching And Leadership, presented by the Florida State University School of Music Faculty
  • September 7, 2006 – 35 Years Of Dedication to Music Education at Miami Beach Senior High School, presented by The Miami-Dade County League of Cities
  • June 12, 2007 – Town of Surfside Proclamation as Doug Burris Day, In recognition of his commitment to the musical education of the students of Miami Beach Senior High School.
  • April 11, 2012 – City of Miami Beach Proclamation as Doug Burris Day – In recognition of his 40 years of commitment to the musical education of the students of Miami Beach Senior High School, the the Arts and Entertainment Industry, serving as a Beacon of Accomplishment for Others with Multiple Sclerosis and to the Community at Large of the City of Miami Beach.