Hazel Burnett, as she was primarily known, was a theater accompanist who performed in Texas’s biggest motion picture palaces in the 1910s and 1920s. Burnett performed for both cinema and live theater as an organist and pianist. After an early career in Ohio, she moved south, where she played at the Majestic Theater in Austin and the Queen Theater and the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio. Burnett’s life as a cinema accompanist at some of the biggest theaters in the United States is documented by the Burnett Collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin. Named for Josephine Burnett, who donated her grandmother’s music to the Ransom Center, this collection contains a wide variety of Hazel Burnett’s materials, including printed cue sheets and full scores; photoplay albums; sheet music; hundreds of pieces clipped out of The Etude and Melody magazines; and handwritten cue sheets and notes.
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