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Pipe Major Alex Burt AOBA
My band involvement

During my early piping days , I played with the Pipes and Drums from the Army Apprentice School at Arborfield and even today I play for the School Association at remembrance events and reunions. When I moved into the normal army theaters , I played in practice with the pipe bands of several Scottish regiments including The Black Watch under Pipe Major Anderson, The Gordon Highlanders , The Scots Guards under Pipe Major Angus McDonald , The band of the Royal Air Force Far East under Pipe Major Archie McLeod and with the pipes and drums of the Royal Tank Regiment under Pipe Major Peter Elder. I have now formed a new ex-Army Apprentice Pipes and Drums to play at the Association reunions at the National Memorial Arberetum which we call TAPAD for short

Then I left the army and settled down in the Medway towns in Kent where I joined a local band.

The City of Rochester Pipe Band ( formally the Maidstone Pipe Band ) was formed in 1979 in Maidstone where  ordinary people got together and decided that bagpipe music was what they wanted to learn. The band grew and increased in experiance over the years. They wear full highland dress with McDougal tartan plus day dress and re-enactment dress. They have a good repetoire of music and play regularly all over the South East and also on the continent at tattoos and local fetes. They also have taken part at Pipefest in Scotland and New York several times. They play in Rochester in Kent at Dickens and at Armed Forces days and took the name from the City of Rochester when the local historical society sponsored them for a new set of drums in 1992 when they changed the name of the band

After I left the City of Rochester I joined The Southern Highlanders Pipe Band who are a composite group of tallented players from across the South East of England who get together to provide the best pipe band available for tattoos , parades and specail events across the continent including France , Holland , Germany , Italy and in 2013/2015 Sweden. These players are at the top of thier game and give a great performance worthy of many larger and more established bands. There can be a variety of tartans within this band but they all merge together to provide a fantasic performance wherever they play.  We played with them at the Waterloo celebrations this year as well as the return trip to the Yastad international Military Tattoo in Sweden where I was the poster boy for the programs and media advertisments. The band went back to Sweden in 2016 to a different tattoo  plus a proposed Tatto in Moscow also in 2016

I also joined in with the St Andrews Pipe Band from Hamble-le-rice near Southampton when they went Dawlish for the opening of the Dawlish Museum where the D-Day piper Bill Millans pipes were presented and I also went to Normandy for the D-Day celebrations in 2013 and I was asked to play the solo for Highland Cathedral at Pegasus Bridge. Great few days there and I am still in touch with them and play regularly with three of them who are also ex-Arborfield Apprentices like myself.

In 2013 I also joined the 1st Greenhithe Highlanders Pipe Club which was formed after the Dartford Pipe Band ceased to be a unit  The aim of the club is to learn the finer points of piping and playing. This is done by diligent practice with all members playing tunes - both old and new - but correctly and at the right tempo to provide a rounded and well played piece of music on the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe. New members are always welcome to come along and learn to play the pipes. Currently there is no drum corps and the group concentrate on bagpipes. The Pipe Major there is also an ex-Arborfield Apprentice.

In 2014 I joined the Centenary Pipes and Drums which was a composite band , to take part in the Birmingham International Military Tattoo at the National Indoor Arena. With limited practice times, the band still put on such a good show that we were invited back and played in the 2015 event at the end of November. The band then played again in 2016

2015 was a long year with many events covering the whole year and I was able to play at nearly every event requested except where there was a clash.
In 2016 I curtailed my performances due to the illness of my other half but still played at several prestigeous events including the Queens Patrons Lunch parade in London and the Wayland Show near Norwich with the Phoenix Pipe Band. I also reformed the Army Apprentices Pipes and Drums and we played at the annual reunion to a great reception.

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