Denis Burton

Denis Burton

Denis Burton

Denis Burton had an impressive 50 years of Regular and Reserve service to the Army. He enlisted in 1972 as a Junior Musician completing his training at the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corps in Bovington, Dorset.

After attending the year-long musician’s course at the Royal Military School of Music (RMSM) he quickly established himself as the principal trombonist in the Staff Band of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

His potential was very quickly realised and he was selected for the Bandmaster’s Course and his musical flair was demonstrated when he passed out as top student, winning six first prizes including the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal.

Appointments followed as Bandmaster to the 2nd Battalion the Light Infantry, The Light Infantry Salamanca Band and in The Training Development Team at Kneller Hall.

Again, his aptitude was confirmed when he was commissioned and promoted to Director of Music. In that capacity, he went on to lead the Band of the Royal Lancers and the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers.

The Royal Corps of Army Music was quick to use his exceptional musical skills and employed Denis as Chief Instructor at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, making a significant contribution to the instruction and musical education of so many members of the Corps.

His final appointment in Regular Service was as the Director of Music, Grenadier Guards, achieving world-class standards of excellence in performance and high-profile state ceremonial.

Some of his arrangements and compositions are still being used on such occasions such as Trooping the Colour. Denis’s pieces for wind and brass bands and ensembles have been published by companies in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Leaving the Regular Army he had not thought to enlist in the Army Reserve, but when a vacancy occurred to lead the Royal Welsh Band Denis was successfully headhunted as the Director of Music.

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of his service with the Regimental Band was the Presentation of Colours by Her Majesty The Queen in 2015. His superb refrain ‘Mametz Wood’, which was written for the occasion, was a triumph.

His Regular and Reserve career has seen him give performances throughout Europe; in North, Central and South America; the Middle East and Australia.

Inevitably, Denis was probably best known in Wales for those stirring performances by the Band at the Principality Stadium before every home game.