The High Point Arts Council presents its next Sidetrack Session at the Station on Tuesday, May 26, at 7:00 p.m. and will feature Charles Burns.

Charles was born in Winston Salem and has been playing guitar for over fifty years. He began playing when he was ten years old, after listening to his father play the guitar in local bands as they rehearsed in their basement. When he asked his father to teach him how to play, he said that he would have to learn to read music rather than play “by ear.” Charles began taking private guitar lessons soon after, and the rest is history.

Charles played his first gig with his dad, the late V.C. Burns, at an annual talent show at Anderson High School when he was twelve years old. Charles went on to play in several local bands and after graduating from Carver High School in 1969, he earned his B.S. degree in Music Education from Winston Salem State University in 1973. While at WSSU as a member of the Jazz Ensemble, he had an opportunity to tour with the band playing during recruiting tours up and down the east coast. The highlight of his career at WSSU was getting an opportunity to tour several countries in Europe including France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, and Holland with the Jazz Ensemble for two weeks during the summer of 1971.

After graduation he taught in the Winston Salem public schools but eventually resigned to pursue a music career with “Opus Seven” made up of several former WSSU students and local musicians from Winston Salem. During their professional career they performed nationally with likes of Kool and The Gang, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Blue Magic and The Manhattans, to name a few. The band recorded “Thoughts” in 1979. After the band disbanded in 1980, Charles resumed his career in education but continued to perform locally. He still performs, primarily as a solo guitarist, but also plays duo, trio and quartet gigs as well.

Charles currently lives in Greensboro with the love of his life, Lula Burns and they look forward to celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary in August.

Charles will be coming to you live from the Centennial Station Arts Center in High Point, but you must tune into the Facebook Live event to view. While the Arts Council has reopened our offices by appointment, we cannot have any public events and audiences at this time. Please enjoy this free event, but consider dropping some change in Charles’ virtual tip jar during the concert.

To hear Charles live at Sidetrack Sessions on May 26, visit our Facebook page at We will go live at 6:50 p.m. Please follow our Facebook page for information on future events and programs. If you have specific questions, contact Todd Dupree, Arts Programs Manager, at or 336-889-2787 ext. 26.

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