Mr. Burkes’ passion for marching began in high school where he spent most of his time marching for Oak Ridge. After high school, Burkes marched groups such as The Phantom Regiment, Code Black Independent Winter Guard (Houston), and Paramount Independent World (Atlanta). Since then, Mr. Burkes has served as director, tech, choreographer, designer, coach, and often times, all of the above, while working for great Scholastic Guard High School programs. Much of his time was spent in the Metro Atlanta area at schools including Mill Creek High School, Kell High School, Whitewater High School, and Harrison High School.
As a consulting designer, he has designed drill and written choreography for WGI regional finalists such as Chattahoochee High School and Crossroads Indoor Winter Guard (Ames, Iowa). He has worked with countless programs including local (Houston) Scholastic guards such as Klein Cain and Klein High School, and across the nation with programs like Norcross High Guard and North Gwinnett High School. Mr. Burkes has also designed for numerous nationally recognized guards such as Crossroads Indoor, Northwest Missouri State University Color Guard, and more. In addition to color guard and band design, he has ventured into the drum corps world, teaching at The Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps and designing for Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps.
As a freelance designer for most of his adult career, Mr. Burkes started his own business officially in 2018 under the name CGD, or Color Guard Design. He has tremendous experience designing drill, flags, costumes, floors, writing choreography, arranging music, and conceptualizing shows and getting them onto the field or floor. He is dedicated to the programs he becomes involved with and is more than a designer, but a mentor as well and helps lead his teams to success.
Mr. Burkes cherishes the extremely important lessons learned while being taught and inspired by some of the best choreographers, designers, and technicians in the entire world. He hopes to continue spreading that knowledge and pay it forward to a new generation of marching arts enthusiasts and future designers!
Color Guard Director