2 time stellar award winning, Grammy nominated, lecturer, composer, arranger, organist, producer, and friend to many, Roberto Leonell Burton’s musical journey began in the city of Brotherly love, Philadelphia, PA. at the Ebenezer SDA Church, under the tutelage of Gwendolyn Foster & the late Allen Foster.
During his high school years, he excelled in the instrumental program under the direction of Dr. Robert Bazzel. While in High School, he started the Sterling High School Gospel Choir, which exists to this day. After high school he matriculated to Oakwood College, now Oakwood University, and Alabama A&M University. His piano teachers were Dr. Wayne Bucknor, of Oakwood University and Dr. Walter Bragg from Alabama A&M University. Mr. Arthur Wesley and Mr. Derrick Yates exposed his instrumental side and writing for marching and jazz bands. Currently he is a Doctoral student at Liberty University studying Music Education. He is also the Director of Bands at Oakwood University.
As a producer, engineer, and music director he has worked with, Dr. Wintley Phipps, Asaf Alexander Ward, Pastor Jimane Nelson, Kim Burrell, John Stoddart, Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, John P. Kee, Take 6, Men Of Standard, Mary J. Bilge, Patti Labelle, A Special Blend, Wynton Marsalis, Tye Tribett, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Ron Kenoly and more. Since 2007, He has served as a producer with the grammy nominated accapella group, Committed, Season 2 winners of NBC “The Sing Off.” He is currently the Head Organist at St. John AME Church in Huntsville, AL, and composer in residence at First Baptist Church, Gov Dr. They are equipped with at 60 piece orchestra & and a 120 voice choir weekly. Roberto Burton traveled to the Czech Republic in 2016, to conduct the Czech Republic Orchestra at Sound Trust Recording Studios.
The artist, Bobby Hill from Philadelphia, Pa has recently sung for the Democratic National convention for Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton. After years behind the desk as an engineer and producer, Roberto Burton has put together 20 singers from the Huntsville, Alabama area to form the dream given vision of In One Accord. On September 1 2018, In One Accord released a 16 track self titled album. On July 18, 2018 In Philadelphia, Pa, he had the privilege to serve as one of the composers and conductors for the 100th birthday celebration of Leonard Bernstein with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Darin Atwater, is the conductor of Soulful Symphony. A 75 member ensemble of African-American and Latino musicians. Our task was to compose a piece that would highlight the composition of West Side Story. The piece “South Side, Symphonic Dances” is based on the eternal tale of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Bernstein’s romantic musical update, West Side Story, is about a war between rival teenage gangs in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and the two lovers who cross battle lines.
He is also an orchestrator and copyist for Professor Steven Ford. Currently, he is the Department chair at Eastern University in Philadelphia, PA. And has served Richard Smallwood as his musical director since his first album in the 80’s. Steven Ford has worked with artist such as Fred Hammond, Commissioned, The Winans and most recently, Mervin Warren Jr. in the 2018 performance of the 25th Anniversary of the Soulful Celebration Album at the Kennedy Center.
His publishing company, Scubed Music Publishing BMI, is in its 22nd year of existence and serves high school instrumental programs throughout the United States with his marching and concert band arrangements. His orchestral arrangements have made it to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the National Symphony Orchestra, the United States Air Force Band, The Orlando Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and many other churches with orchestral programs in their music ministry. He is a member of Alabama Bandmasters Association, the American Guild of Organists and the American Choral Directors Association. He is married to Sandra Burton, a business and intelligence analyst for Oakwood University. And they have 2 children, Kendall who 8 and Cameron who is 4, and they are the joy of his life.