The Next George Straight

Hanah Cooper, Editor

Derek Burner- does that name ring a bell? Well, if you haven’t heard, he’s the new Hallway Musician. Everyday at lunch, you can catch Burner upstairs at the high school strumming on his guitar, singing some songs, and sharing his music with the school. The high school students generally get a kick out of it every day.

Here’s the thing about Derek: he is actually a self taught player! When he was 14, he started to teach himself how to play out of books. Flash forward two years later, he writes his own songs, plays for his church, and posts his songs to YouTube. You can listen to some of his tunes at IDA Music on (

When asked about what his plans for the future were with music, Derek said, “I have thought about (moving to) Nashville, but I don’t know if that’s really what I want yet. I also had a record label, RCA Records, find my music, and I sent in about 10 songs. They gave me an offer of $75,000 for my first year with royalties if I worked with their writers and vocal coaches. However, I turned it down.”

It sounded like Derek is going to be keeping his talents in Wayne City for a while, so he was also asked why he started playing in the hallways. He responded, “I told a friend I would give them lessons, and it just kind of went from there. I figured y’all would get a kick out of it anyway.”

It seems as if Derek has got a long road ahead of him when it comes to his music, and he plans to keep working hard at it. As a final send off, he added this quote: “Work hard, put everything into it, wait for the rewards, and always keep trying.”