October 31, 2012

Bruce Burt Sr., 1943-2012

Bruce Burt Sr., the well-known and accomplished piper from Detroit, died on October 22, 2012, at home in St. Petersburg, Florida, in his seventieth year.

He started on the pipes with Pipe-Major Walter Rose at age nine with the St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit Pipe Band. At age 15 he was made Pipe-Sergeant and was with the band when it competed in Grade 1 for several years in the 1970s.

At 16 Burt joined the Grade 1 St. Thomas Pipe Band under Pipe-Major Gordon Tuck, progressing to taking lessons with Sandy MacPhee and then George Duncan.  He competed in the Professional grade in solos and became Pipe-Major of the Grade 2 Chrysler Corporation Pipe Band, until returning to the St. Andrew’s Society and Pipe-Major John Goodenow and, later, then Dave Martin.

In the late-1970s Bruce Burt received instruction from Willie Connell and had a successful run on the Scotland solo circuit, becoming one of the first American pipers to gain prizes there, specifically at Skye and Crieff.

Bruce Burt later played with the Flint Scottish and Red Thistle and was a frequent adjudicator in the United States and Canada.

He is survived by his wife, Kitt; brother, Robert; sons Bruce, Doug and Louis; daughter, Sandra; and grandchildren Kaley, Noah, Haley, Amber and Dylan.

Our sympathies go out to Bruce Burt Sr.’s family and friends at this sad time.


  1. One of the nice under the radar guys of piping. Always happy to hear tunes at any level. I got to know Bruce and his wife quite well in Florida and am saddened that he will no longer be out and about down here. Take care and have a tune for one of the good ones.



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