"Turning 102 years old, in and of itself, calls for a pretty special party. Charles Burrell certainly got that as he rolled up to a building with his name on it in Aurora Tuesday.
The Charles Burrell Visual & Performing Arts Campus stands as a testament to his legacy.
'I’m gonna cry,' Burrell said softly, as a crowd of students — many wearing shirts adorning his name — began to sing him 'Happy Birthday.'
Burrell is often called the Jackie Robinson of classical music, both for his talent and for the barriers he broke. He was the first Black person to play with the Denver Symphony Orchestra (now the Colorado Symphony) in 1949. The opportunity came after many others were closed to him, simply because of the color of his skin."
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