When Centennial High School was built in 1993, the original administration pursued a quality education institution with particular excellence in academics, athletics, and performing arts. Thirty years later, Centennial ranks the highest in academic performance in the Kern High School District, has one of the strongest athletic programs in Bakersfield, and continues to produce superior performing art ensembles. The choral program at Centennial is recognized as one of the elite programs in the county. This comprehensive choral music education program consists of five choirs, made up of approximately 100 singers. The non-auditioned Bass Choir and Treble Choir consist of students with a wide range of vocal abilities and musical backgrounds who are given daily instruction in music theory, sight-singing, ear-training and choral performance. Continuing this instruction, Advanced Treble Ensemble is an advanced auditioned women’s ensemble. The Concert Choir is a large mixed ensemble open by audition only. The Chamber Singers is a small mixed ensemble open to advanced singers by audition. Under the direction of Patrick Burzlaff and accompanied by Dustin Powell the Singing Hawks continue to receive superior ratings at festivals all over the state of California.
Click here to listen to the Singing Hawks
Director of Vocal Music at Centennial High School
8601 Hageman Rd.
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Patrick Burzlaff has been teaching in the Kern High School District for 15 years, and has served as the Choir Director at Centennial High School for the last 10 years. He holds a BA in Music from Luther College and an MA in Choral Conducting from CSULA. Mr. Burzlaff was awarded the KCMEA Choral Music Educator of the Year (2016), was featured as one of Bakersfield’s 20 under 40 People to Watch (2020), and named the KCMEA Educator of the Year (2022). The unique challenge facing educators in 2020 allowed him to become involved in writing an online curriculum for vocal music that was used district-wide during remote learning and even in some classrooms across the nation. Mr. Burzlaff’s choirs are highly rated in the district, the recipients of numerous PEAAK Awards, and have been featured on Valley Public Radio. Patrick has served as chair for the CCDA Regional Honor Choir, Guest Conductor for the Kern County Honors Music Festival, guest clinician and adjudicator at various choral festivals, and is a volunteer vocalist and church musician in the community.
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