Ally Merritt

Hello, my name is Ally, and I was a piano student of Darden Burns for much of my time as a Bainbridge High School student. Having found expressional literacy by way of music composition and performance for much of my childhood, my lessons with Darden often worked to intensify my passion for the piano, challenge and grow my skills as a pianist, and extend my appreciation for the rich history of the instrument. I am currently a full-time student at Seattle Pacific University, in Queen Anne, where I have retained a fond respect and comforting companionship with the piano while completing my studies. I am greatly endowed to Darden for her many years of instruction and friendship, and for embodying the joys of discipline and faithfulness to music when taken to their fullest fruition. I will surely carry these with me through my academic pursuits, relationships, and careers for many years to come.


Cristen McCann

Hi, My name is Cristen, and I took piano lessons with Darden for over a decade. I am now graduated and at St. Olaf College, where I continue to take piano lessons and accompany other musicians. I have played and listened to music for as long as I can remember, and I use it as means of conveying my deepest emotions to  those around me, and also to relax and have fun! I would like to thank Darden for her hard work and teaching. She made every lesson enjoyable and fruitful, encouraging me to keep music in my life for the joy that it brings me.


Anna Thackray

Hi, I'm Anna, and I've been playing piano for almost nine years with Darden. I'm graduating this year, heading off to Mount Holyoke College, so sadly this was my last year with her. What I really love about piano is creating moving music on my own, and being able to play a piece the way I interpret it. Playing gives me freedom and relaxation in my busy life. I'll try to continue playing piano in college for fun. It has been a pleasure to play with Darden, and I look forward to seeing my sister and Darden's other students progress in their musical skills in the future.