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Pipe Major Alex Burt AOBA
Favorite Links and testimonials

The Southern Highlanders web site                     There are examples of them in action on You Tube
The City of Rochester pipe band web site             There are examples of them in action on You Tube
Colchester and District Pipe band web site            There are examples of them in action on You Tube
Oaklands Pipes and Drums web site                     There are examples of them in action on You Tube
RT Shepherd bagpipe manufacturer                     Provider of instruments and highland dress Well recommended
The Ayrshir bagpipe company                             Provider of bagpipes Excellent service
Imperial Highland Supplies                                 This is a supplier of highland equipment and instruements based in Pakistan
The viper piper - list of pipe tunes - web site        A site dedicated to bagpipe music listed in alphabetical order                                                   A site with thousands of sheet bagpipe music in alphabetical order



Attended 4 Burns nights ; 1 wedding ; 7 funerals ; 2 corporate events ; 3 band gigs ; 5 family orientated events ; 5 Military events ; and 3 tattoo's during the year and all with good testimonials


Attended 5 Burns nights ; 9 weddings ; 19 funerals ; 3 Corporate events ; 1 band gig ; 2 family orientated events ;3 Military events ; and 2 tattoo's during the year . 


Attended 10 Burns nights ; 15 funerals ; 6 weddings ; 1 brass bnd concert ; The Queens lunch Parade ; 2 remembrance services ; Armed Forces Day ; 2 shows ; and a Military reunion. 

Attended 10 Burns nights ; 12 funerals ; 5 weddings ; 4 Corporate events ; 3 tattoo's ; Remembrance service ; and 2 Military reunions.
I was also unable to play for three months due to ill health

Attended 1 corporate event , 8 Burns nights , 20 funerals , 8 weddings , 3 birthdays , 2 TV performances , and 8 Military events 


First Burns Night of the year
  Bit earlier than usual but I played at a Masonic Burns Night in Rochester. I had received some new chanter reeds in the morning and fitted one to the pipes. Played very well from the get go and the pipes sounded sweet. Played while they were in the bar then played them into the hall followed by the top table. Played in the Haggis and addressed it before playing it out. I then played during the haggis course and finished with Scotland the Brave and the Black Bear. Happy with the performance.
Another Masonic Burns Night  A return visit to play at the annual Burns Night in Maidstone. Good crowd and they enjoyed the playing. Piped them into the bar then into the resturant. Played in the Haggis and played it out again before I stood in the hall and played while the Haggis course was set out. Nice set of appropriate marches to get the mood lighter. Finished with Scotland the Brave and The Black Bear. Very well received again
Played for a Scottish theme at a Primary School  Played the children into the assemby hall and included a couple of childrens songs in the set. They recognised the two tunes and asked sveral questions while I told them about bagpipes. Played them out again before I went round the classrooms. In the Music class they were learning the song 500 miles by the proclaimers. I started the pipes and played 500 miles while they sang. Pleased as punch with the short event as were the children
Played for a Care Home  Asked to play for a care home in Tunbridge Wells. They assembled in a day room where I played. I played the usual Scottish tunes including for the haggis but also included a few "English" tunes they could sing along to. They seemed to enjoy it all and gave me a lovely card when I was finished
Burns Night at a pub  Played to a small pub group who were really into Burns and enjoyed the evening. I also addressed the haggis for them which had them in fits and a good night was had by all. Nice to spread the Burns legend
Burns Night in a bigger pub  The pub was bigger but was also open to the public and th noise level was higher than I was used to. Played the usual sets including for the haggis in and out then settled down to play some Scottish favoutrites. Some in the pub side joined in singing so the night was not a total noisy affair.
Burns Night for a Caledonian Society  Another return gig which I have been doing for a few years now. Played the top table in then played while the first course was served. Played in the haggis and out again and continued playing as that was served. One of the company is in my piping club and does not like non-traditional music on the pipes so I stood near him and played two tunes from ABBA much to the merryment of the other guests. Played the top table out at the end of the evening for me. Good night all round again
Masonic Burns night  Yet another return job to play at the Burns night of a lodge I played at when it was opened. Very good night playing them into dinner then the haggis which I addressed before I played as the haggis was served and I finished.  Always enjoy this one
Church Charity Burns night  Was asked to play at this charity night and I piped everyone to the tables. I stood in one corner and played a 20 tunes set in 2/4 time which lasted about 16 minutes. Several changes in tempo during the playing but the tunes were organised so I played straight through. Played in the haggis and out again before I played for the last time as I exitted the hall. Very nice people and even maneged to play a couple of requests.
Crematorium funeral Eltham  I was accompanied by a drummer as we played the hearse to the chapel for an old Parachute Regiment lad who had been to Arnhem in 1944. Uniformed bearers and a guard of honour of ex-para's lined the route. Lovely folks and well done the lads for giving him a great send off last parade
Crematorium funeral Charing  After discussions with the family, I played the hears to the chapel and the casket into the chapel from the hearse. When they exited the chapel I played Flower of Scotland in a slow tempo with From Scotland with love. They stood and listened at the end and the daughter was overcome but they all loved the tunes we had agreed and the playing. Lovely funeral
Sikh wedding in Gravesend   not a lot of detail for this one which started at 9 in the morning. Accompanied by an ex-Scots Guards drum major on the side drum we were to play the male guests into the temple then the Groom. Had a phone call they were running 30 minutes late but folks were arriving so we found a sheltered area out of the bitter wind and played a few sets until the other folks arrived. Met the chap who had booked us and we played the Groom from the gate to the Temple. Job done and they were well impressed with the playing from both piper and drummer
Crematorium funeral Hawkinge  On a cold windy day I played the hearse to the chapel with Flowers of Scotland then at the door played Mull of Kintyre before leading the casket into the chapel with Believe me of all those endearing your charms as requested. Played them out to Amazing Grace and From Scotland with love. Nice family and pleased I was able to help them give mum a good send off. They also appreciated the playing and respect paid to the casket.
Sikh wedding Gravesend   With side drummer played guests into the Temple in Gravesend. Then met the groom and played the wedding car to the Temple to get the groom in for the wedding. Side drummer made a big difference and the wedding went well
Crematorium funeral Barham   Played the cortege to the chapel and then played the casket into the chapel as requested . Played family out with Flower of Scotland in slow time followed by From Scotland with love. Family were very pleased at the efforts put in to give mum a good send off
Medway Crematorium funeral   Played up to the car park for a family then stopped due to crematorium rules but played the family and friends into the chapel. Played them out again with THE NORTHERN LIGHTS OF OLD ABERDEEN in slow time and the family were over the moon with the playing of this tune on the pipes.
Church service only funeral   Played the casket and family out from the church after the service with Amazing Grace. That was all that was asked for so followed instructions although prepared to do more. Great reception for this member of the local community 
Regimental service of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arberetum    Played with the Army Apprentices Pipes and Drums at the Arberetum for the annual remembrance service for all ex-apprentice tradesmen in the four main schools. Similar to the annual reunion for Arborfield Old Boys Association in July. Went quite well and was well received by the senior officers on parade on the day
Wedding at Lympe Castle near Hythe   Played at a smashing wedding at Lympe Castle for a lovely couple. Nice surroundings and played for guests in to service , bride into service , couple from service , photographs outsode on the lawn and couple into wedding breakfast. Used my new extended 2/4 sets totalling 17 tunes and they went down a treat.
Wedding at Chillam Village Hall   Played to the guests as they arrived from the service in Chilham outside where they were taking drinks from a caravan bar. Excellent crowd of people who asked for tunes on the day and I was happy to oblige. Then played crowd into the wedding breakfast before playing the couple in - he is a policeman - to the theme tune from Z cars. Went down ever so well. They had a 7 piece band of mainly ex-service musicians and the director of the band congratulated me on the playing. Praise indeed
Wedding in a barn in LEIGH   I was a secret surprise for the bride and her surprise was complete as I played Danny Boy and she was well pleased. The groom asked me to play during the signing of the register and I asked what tunes he wanted. He asked for something upbeat and unusual. I played three ABBA tunes , two Buddy Holly tunes a pipe version of I believe and the saints go marching in with signing in the rain to finish. After I piped them out a lot of the congregation came and asked for the name of some of the tunes as they were taking notes on what I was playing. Gret time had by all
Cemetary funeral in Erith   Played at a graveside interment at Erith . Very large number there and all they wanted was Amazing Grace. Completed the funeral and paid respects to the family They were upset with the funeral but happy I had played for the lady who passed
Wedding at Wadhurst Castle   Played at a large wedding at the castle with lots down from Scotland for the wedding Counted 23 kilts in the group plus 4 sets of trews. Lead the bride down to the registars then stood to one one side during the ceremony. Played the couple out after the service and during the photos. Very warm day and they all seemd to enjoy before I played them into the wedding breakfast. I dont do many 7 hour weddings so it was a challenge. Played over 60 tunes from memory with no repeats Job was a good one Received a very nice email from the bride when she got back from honeymoon saying they were all pleased with the playing including the friends and family from Holland and the contingent from Scotland.
Normandy D-Day remembrance   Went to Normandy for th D-Day celebrations and remembrance. Played at Sword Beach at 7am when the commandopes came ashore and also at Pegasus Bridge where we marched ofer the bridge into the museum and played on the old bridge which is part of the museum. Lovely and emotional and paid respects to those who gave the ultimate for our freedom.
Funeral at Barham Crematorium   Played at Barham Crematorium. Met the family on site before the funeral cortege arrived. Played the tunes they wanted to hear at the appropriate times and the pipes sounded fine and they liked the playing. A Scots lass from Stonehaven originally
Funeral at Kent and Sussex Crematorium   A long day playing at the crematorium in Tunbridge Wells then drove to Wickyham church to play for the celebration of life Amazing Grace going into the chapel then Cock o' the north during the service. Repeated the two tunes at the church and also played The day thou gavest Lord is ended. Large family and friends and they listened to the playing and were pleased mum had had a good send off.
Armed Forces Day Greenhithe   Played with my piping club at the RBL Armed Forces Day at Greenhithe. A strong set of players attended and we gave 3 performances with a good sound and fine tempo even including some sets we have not practiced many times before. Good gig in very warm weather on an outside stage.
Funeral at Charing Crematorium   Played at this funeral with a small congregation. So sad but gave all the respect due to the deceased appreciated by the few family members present
Funeral at Vinters Park Crematorium   An Ex-Black Watch verteran who also served with the reconnisance Regiment behind enemy lines in WW2 played wearing my Black Watch uniform and played the two Black Watch slow marches to the chapel , Flowers of the Forrest into the chapel and Highland Cathedral coming out. Family were very pleased and the lad had a great crowd there and a good send off. Standard bearer also in attendance
Regimental reunion at the National Memorial Arberetum   The annual reunion of ex-apprentices from Arborfield in Berkshire. Organised The Army Apprentices Pipes And Drums - TAAPAD - and we had a two hour pracrtice session which is the only practice the band gets in a year. on the Friday evening we played at the curry night. In the morning we went to the NMA and played at our parade and at the service of remembrance. We then moved onto 5 Regiment Royal Artillery and played them round the NMA to sites where past members were remembered and then onto thei own memorial where I played Flowers of the Forest at the end of the Last Post. In the evening the band played at the formal regimental dinner. The band was well received by our peers over the weekend and we played in good tempo , together and at the right speed for the lads Well done TAAPAD
Wedding near Faversham  Played in a teepee tent for the wedding reception in a fieLd near Faversham. The happy couple arrived on a horse drawn cart to be greeted by their guests who had arrived earlier. Played them into the reception area and played during the drinks session. Different wedding arrangements but very nice and well worth the effort by the couple
Wedding near Sandwich   Attended the venue at a country pub with poor weather due. Played for the guests as they arrived The couple were already there. Lots of kilts with the guests and found they came from near where I grew up in Scotland. Played the couple to the outside pagola then played as they signed the register. Played some of my modern tunes to keep them guessing. Played the couple out to I'm for ever blowing bubbles as the groom was a West Ham fan. Played as they had a drink and watching the skies for rain. Played them into the reception marque then brought the bride and groom in playing 500 miles by the Proclaimers. Music went down well and they all enjoyed the wedding
Funeral at Gravesend Crematorium   This was a Sikh funeral for a lad who had sertved his country. Played to the house and during their saying farewell to the lad in the casket. Played them away from the house as they went to the Temple. Went to the crematorium and played the cortege to the chapel before playing them into the chapel. Played as they exited the chapel. Wore my day dress military standard uniform as a mark of respect to another soldier. The family were very pleased with the efforts I made in dress , timing and music played
Opening of a new funeral parlour in Dartford   Attended the opening of a new funeral parlour in Dartford and played for the opening and cutting the ribbon. Also played outside as folks were passing. Nice result and honoured to play there
Regimental funeral at Charing Crematorium   Played for the wife of the ex-chairman of the REME Association Ashford on her last parade. Her husband passed a few years ago after giving sterling service to the Association ably helped by his wife. Once in the family of the Corps always in the family of the Corps. Family very pleased with the manner the funeral was carried out with pipes and standard on parade as well.
Wedding reception Gravesend  Played at the wedding reception in Gravesend with any tunes I wanted but the bride to come into the recption to Flower of Scotland. Nice little job but in a cold wind so glad it was indoors Plyed guests in as well so family happy
Graveside funeral Chatham  +Played the cortge from the gate to the grave then played at the grave. They also held the service of committal at the grave so I had to wait around a wee while until that was over then play as the casket was lowered. They were quite pleased though so no big problem
Cremation Funeral at Hawkinge     Ws asked to play at the RAF MCemetery in `HAwking before the funeral I was playing at. Chap took a video in front of the grave of a pilot shot down and killed in WW2 exactly 75 years ago. He was sending the video to the pilots sister who lives in Canada. Pleased to play as I always pay my respects there. Then I went to the chapel and played my funeral up to the doors and followed that with the lament as soon as the casket left the hearse and I walked away as I played. Got to the exit a bit before I usually do and glad I as they were just about to come out. Played them out and walked back to the front of the chapel where the next funeral was arriving so I stopped. Respects to all around
Crematorium Funeral at Charing   Played the casket from the home address into the hearse and then down the road for a distance before I broke away. Then into the car and off to Charing Crem where I was there before the cortege and was playing them to the chapel and continuing to play as the casket went into the chapel and again I walked away. A very cold day but managed to get through it all with no squeak
Cremation Funeral at Bobbing    Played for a Scottish lad who died overseas and was brought back to this country to be sent off in style. Played the cortege from the approaces to the chapel then went past the chapel doors and carried on playing. Broke into Flowers of the Forrset as the casket was removed from the hearse. Played them outn from the chapel at the end of the service. Hid daughters were very pleased although it was so cold in the wind my reed froze just as I was to march off at the beginning. Rectified and played well
Funeral at Bobbing Crematorium   Played on a cold day at Bobbing Crematorium as required by the family over the phone. Was on site early and pipes were tuned and ready to play. Met the cortege on route to the chapel as planned but the funeral director went to the chapel to check we were all right and it took about 10 minutes standing in a bitter wind. Went to play and lead the cortege and the chanter reed froze up. Stopped and sorted out the problem and from then on the pipes played well. A nice well run funeral as well
The Balmoral Ball   Was asked to play for the bi-annual Dickens Festival ball in Rochester where the theme was Balmoral. Parking over Dickens weekend a nightmare and had a long walk before I reached the venue. Into a back room and sorted out the pipes then proceeded to play the guests into the ball. Then played Queen Victoria into the ball with John Brown as escort. Played during the meal in between courses. Several made the effort to show Scottish dress and it looked a right gathering of the clans. A good night was had by all

Attended 6 formal events , 9 Burns nights , 16 funerals , and 8 weddings in the year but due to illness I was out of playing for 3 months


CARE HOME PIPING  Played my first gig of the year and the first gig after I return from a hip replacement at a care home in London. Got the residents clapping and singing and having a great time. Good to see them enjoy themselves and pleased to give them a hand
BURNS NIGHT FORMAL  Same day as the care home but this was a formal "proper" Burns night with the piping the Haggis , the addressing , the Immortal Memory and speeches to and from the ladies. Good night all round and the leg held out well with my new buckle brogues on my feet. Been doing this one a few years now and it was the only one I decided to do this year after my operation.
CREMATORIUM FUNERAL  Played for the passing of a family mother at Gravesend. Very cold on top of the hill with no shelter but managed to get the pipes working well and played as required. Moving ceremony and the family liked the pipes. First time I used the smaller chapel but it was the last funeral of the day so no need to hurry up and gave them more than asked for
BURNS NIGHT IN GILLINGHAM  A last minuite booking for a local Masonic Lodge. Was told they started at 6.30 so I was there at 6 but they were down for the dinner at 8. Pipes sounded good and piped in the Master followed by the Haggis , then addressed the haggis before piping it out. I then played for ten minuites as the Haggis was served and finished the evening in good form. Well received by the lodge
90th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION   Made my way out into the country to a cottage to play as a surprise for the 90th birthday of the mother. I was there about ten minuites early and being a country lane there was nowhere to park up so I parked in the drive to the cottage. I had full view of the conservatory where I was expected to be there on the agreed time. A lady came into the conservatory and saw me in the car and waved. I waved back and got out the car and ent to see the lady. I estimated he to be about 60 years old. She was in fact the 90 year old mother so the surprise was no longer. The family tunred up well after my appointment time but I payed for them all including happy birthday and left 30 minutes after I got there Job done. They emailed me a photo of me playing standing in the dining room. Very nice people. Double check the arrnagements next time
CREMATORIUM FUNERAL GRAVESEND After the lock down came into force piping jobs were just not allowed but I was contacted to play at a crematorium funeral in Greavesend. I pracrice social distancing when playing pipes and went there in my car on my own. I played the hearse to the chapel then played the casket into the chapel. So sad as very few are allowed to attendand that did not include me as I was never in the chapel. After the service I was positione some 20 meters away and played them from the chapel. I paid due respect to the casket and the mourners and they were very pleased at my efforts under such circumstances. Pipes sounded good and were in tune. Pleased with the performance and giving the deceased a good send off
VE75 Day 8th May 2020   I joined with thousands of other pipers across the world to play The Battle's O'er at 3pm on the 8th to show that the European War was over Very moving as I played in the church yard at Lenham in Kent. I also played the last post with a bugler prior to VE75. When I arrived in the village I went to the local cemetery where 43 REME soldiers killed just before D-Day from a V1 bomb which hit 6th Huards Armourder Brigade Workshops near by. I play every year at remembrance for them and being in my battledress uniform suitable for the end of WW2 it was appropriate I played the lament for them as well. People walking nearby came over and expressed delight at what I was doing on this important day. A day well spent and social distancing is easy as nobody stands next to a piper playing.
Grave funeral Staplehurst  I joined with 13 members of the family to say farewell but not forgotten to a dad , grandad , husband and friend to many. Played as requested and was acknowledged by others in the cemetery and had a lovely email of thanks from his daughter The three grandchildren read out poems over the casket which was very moving. Pipes were in tune and tunes came out well
Graveside regimental funeral Gillingham   I was asked by my association chairman if we could help with the funeral of one of our own. The deceased was an ex-apprentice and ex-REME soldier who had joined up 3 years before I did so he was one of us. I contacted the family and worked out his career in the Corps and we then planned the funeral. The casket was adorned with the Union Flag , The REME Flag and my own No 1 Dress Cap. I played him to the graveside then played the casket to the actual grace with the regimental march Lillbulaero and I played The Army Apprentice;'s march in lament time as the casket was lowered. After the service I played The Minngalay Boat Song at the request of the family. I was a long very hot day but we got through it all and the family were very pleased with the result
Cremation Funeral Sittingbourne   I was asked to play at the house as the cortege was leaving and then greet the cortege at the crematorium and lead it to the chapel for the service. Played the casket into the chapel walking away as a sign of respect as the soule leaves. Played the evening hymn as they left the chapel which was The day Thou gavest Lord is ended followed by the bugle call but played on the pipes and ending with a second rendition of the hymn. Very well received by the family and the friends allowed to attend
80th Birthday celebration    I was required to play at the 80th birthday celebration of a Glasgow lad in Rolvenden by his daughter. I was to be finished at 11 precisely as it was a Sunday morning. I played the tunes asked for and a lot of Scottish Pipe tunes as well as Scottishsongs converted to the pipes. Myfirst set was 3 tunes finishing with Happy birthday. My second set was a medley of 2/4 dance / marches numbering 25 tunes ending with Loch Lomond. My last set was a further 4/4 set of 15 tunes ending with Flower of Scotland before I played Scotland the Brave and the Black Bear. The Glasgow lad was singing the ones he knew and dancing to some of the others. Received a Thank You email from the daughter praising me for the effort and the playing and she =said I was in her wee book for other pipings gigs. A great all round time had by the family and I enjoyed it as well
VJ75 Day 15th August 2020      Took part in the celebrations for VJ75 day at Lenham in Kent. With my colleague we played at the REME cemetery here then were playing at the Last Post where we played The Battle's O'er after the last post on the bugle and the commemoration speeches. When it was over we played Cock O' the North and Bonnie Dundee to play the folks away form the church. Good celebration in the village and the timing ran very well. As members of the world wide piping society playing for this and the VE75 day celebrations we were both proud and privileged to be part of the celebrations.   
Funeral and Wake      Attended a funeral at Kent and Susses Crematorium for a Scots lad from Hamilton in Lanarkshire. Obeyed social distancing and played the hearse to the chapel then played the casket into the chapel. After the service I played the family from the chapel. I then went into the car and drove to the wake. Nearly last there although I was one of the first to leave as I had a grab truck in front of me nearly the entire journey. Got there before I was supposed to play and with a quick check on tuning I played for the wake for around 15 minutes . Large crowd of people with several South African accents amongst them. Nice funeral  and even with social distancing a nice set of mourners to say goodbye. They even gave me a bonus so they must have been pleased.

Attended 3 formal events 2 Burns nights , 4 funerals 1 care home and 2 birthdays.
Lockdown meant no piping at events throughout the lockdown period due to social distancing


Funeral in a cemetery  Played at a graveside funeral in Rochester for a veteran  from my own Corps REME. The service was conducted at the graveside. I played them to the graveside then waited during the service before I played as the casket was lowered. I then played Flowers of the forest as the mourners left. The Corps standard bearer was also in attendance and we gave it a semi quasi regimental funeral
Funeral in a cemetery  Played another grqveside funeral but this was the committal only . Played the cortege to the grqave then after the committal played Amazing Grace as the casket was lowered. When the mourners had placed roses into the grve I played Highland Cathedral and left soon after. I was advised the funeral was at 2.30 and as I parked up at 2.00 the cortege arrived at the gates of the cemetery. Bit of a rush job to get finished dressing but no chance to tune the pipes in the cold air at the cemetery but they played fairly well but could have done with a wee bit tuning
Burns Night outside  my home. A family who live on my estate asked about any Burns supper events. I advised there were none due to lockdown but I was going to have the traditional dinner at home and play the usual pipe tunes for the dinner. The lady said they loved the pipes and were called Burns as it happens. I told her to be outside my house at the right time and I would stand outside in the drive and give them a few tunes. I played for 10 minutes and mainly Burns tunes. They really enjoyed the playing and went away happy.
Funeral at a cemetery  Another graveside funeral in Chatham. Parked up and got ready including a quick check of the pipes when a hearse arrived. This had no casket. Later on the casket arrived in a white horse hearse pulled bu two white horses The casket was also pure white. I was not playing until the end of the service and played as balloons were released I was to play Amazing Grace which I did then carried on with several other suitable tunes then back into Amazing Grace.  I remained a distance away but then played several more tunes as the mourners were still milling around at the grave site. The family were very appreciated and one lady took my photo and then sent it to my daughter in law asking if I was the grandad . Lovely gesture. Amazing to think of all the varients to cemetery funerals.




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