Jazz Musician & Composer Alfred Burt: A Unique Contribution to American Christmas Music by a Michigan Upper Peninsula Native

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Real Estate Broker/Owner with Madeline Island Realty 50317-90

Alfred Shaddick Burt was born in 1920 on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in Marquette.  His father was an Episcopal pastor who encouraged his son's musical talents, buying him a cornet, presumably as a "bribe" to get the boy to undergo an appendectomy.  The boy began studying his instrument while recuperating.  Within a short period of time, Alfred was proclaimed a prodigy by many in his community who came to hear him perform in bands, orchestras and statewide competitions.

The young Alfred Burt had a love for Jazz that lasted his entire life.  He attended the University of Michigan School of Music, at Ann Arbor, graduating in 1942 with a Bachelor of Music degree.  Beginning in 1942, Alfred began following a family tradition of sending Christmas carols as holiday gifts.  Between 1942 and 1954, Alfred composed fifteen now-famous Christmas Carols. 

Burt died of lung cancer in 1954, but his Carols have been widely performed and recorded for decades, by such diverse artists as Nat King Cole, Julie Andrews, Kenny Loggins and James Taylor.  The Alfred Burt Carols are published by Hal Leonard Music.

Burt's daughter, Diane Burt D'Amico, continues the family tradition, composing Christmas carols to this day.

The Alfred Burt Carols:

Christmas Cometh Caroling

Jesu Parvule

What Are the Signs

Ah, Bleak and Chill the Wintry Wind

All on a Christmas Morning

Nigh Bethlehem

Christ in the Stranger's Guise

Sleep, Baby Mine

Bright, Bright the Holly Berries

Some Children See Him

Come, Dear Children

O, Hearken Ye

Caroling, Caroling

We'll Dress the House

The Star Carol

 

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Rainer
3,940
Brian Kelly
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Warwick, NY

Thanks for the interesting post on Christmas music.... just seeing what type of things people are writing on this subject...

 

Regards

Dec 13, 2007 02:38 PM #1
Rainmaker
564,123
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
Brian, I thought this was of particular significance because all these popular carols were written by a Midwestern native.  Many here may not have heard of Alfred Burt, but most are familiar with at least some of his music.
Dec 13, 2007 03:26 PM #2
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
You did some homework on this one. Fascinating information. Thanks again for including it in our little group =D
Dec 19, 2007 07:14 PM #3
Rainmaker
564,123
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
Lisa, I've always been a fan of the Alfred Burt carols.  And the fact that he's from Upper Michigan (not far away) intrigued me as well.
Dec 20, 2007 10:17 AM #4
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Rainmaker
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Eric Kodner

CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
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