Alfred Shaddick Burt (April 22, 1920 – February 7, 1954) was an American jazz musician who is best known for composing the music for fifteen Christmas carols between 1942 and 1954. Only one of the carols was performed in public outside his immediate family circle during his lifetime. Burt was born in Marquette, Michigan. His family moved to Pontiac, Michigan when he was two after his father, Bates Burt, became pastor of an Episcopal church there. At the age of 10, having shown an early interest in music, Alfred received his first musical instrument, a cornet, as a present from his parents. Though he would learn to play several other instruments, including the piano, Alfred spent most of his life playing cornet and trumpet in bands and orchestras, with a special interest in jazz.
Burt studied music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1942.
A tradition that the elder Burt had begun upon moving to Pontiac in 1922 was the creation of a Christmas card, which he sent to family members and parishioners. On these cards were original Christmas carols, with both the words and music by the Reverend Burt. For the family Christmas card in 1942, Bates asked his son to write the music for that year's carol, "Christmas Cometh Caroling." From then on, Alfred would write the music for the family's Christmas cards, and the "Alfred Burt carols" were born.
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