Jerry Finegan
907 Northwoods Dr.
Cary, NC 27513
About Me
Jerry Finegan, a Bagpiper for All Occasions

I began playing bagpipes at age thirteen under the instruction of Norman Livermore, and have since had the opportunity to study with a number of world famous bagpipers including Jim McIntosh, Michael Cusack, Alasdair Gillies, Jimmy MacGregor, Murray Henderson, P/M Ian McLellan, Chris Armstrong, Glenn Brown, Margaret Dunn, and Albert McMullin.

Over the years, I have had the honor to play for a number of notables including former U.S. President George Bush Sr., former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, former President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia, former President Vicente Fox Quesada of Mexico, Princess Anne of the United Kingdom, Archbiship Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the Duke of Argyll (Scotland), and Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. I performed with the Atlanta Pipe Band as we opened up concerts for both Rod Stewart and the Indigo Girls and have performed at most of the major venues around Atlanta including the Georgia Dome, the Atlanta Stadium, the World Congress Center, Symphony Hall, and Chastain Park. My piping has taken me far and wide, including to play for the outgoing president of the Wholesale Florist Association at their Worldwide annual convention in Cancun, Mexico. I was one of four pipers selected by the British Consulate to play for the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. I even auditioned for and got the part of the bagpiper in the movie "The Fighting Temptations" but unfortunately my scene was cut from the final movie.

Music has always been a big part of my life. In addition to the Scottish Bagpipes, I also play piano and recorder. In high school and college I also played bassoon, and was the principal bassoonist with the Emory University Wind Ensemble.

My heritage like most Americans is a blend of cultures and mine is "European Union". I have quite a few Scottish ancestors and belong to several Scottish clans including the MacLachlan, MacEwan, MacMillan, and MacNeill clans.

In my other life, I am a computer programmer writing ASP.NET web applications in C#. My wife Ellie and I live in Cary, North Carolina with our four children.

Solo Bagpipe Competition Experience
I actively compete on the bagpipes throughout the United States in solo competitions at the Professional Level. I am a five time winner of the MacCrimmon Quaich trophy for Piobaireachd presented by Clan MacLeod. In 1997, I was the EUSPBA Overall Champion for Amateur Grade I.

In October 2010, I was added to the EUSPBA Judge's Panel as a piping judge for all aspects of piping. As such, I am approved to judge contests for Piobaireachd, Light Music, and Pipe Bands.

Bagpipe Band Experience
The Atlanta Pipe Band is a Grade III bagpipe band that I have played with for most of my piping career, except for the four years when I played with the City of Washington Pipe Band and the two years that I played with the North Carolina State University Pipes & Drums. I was Pipe Major of the Atlanta Pipe Band for four competition seasons (2000 through 2003). Prior to becoming Pipe Major, I served fourteen years as Pipe Sergeant of the band including in 1994 when we were undefeated and won the U.S. Open Pipe Band Championship for Grade III in Alma, Michigan. I was Pipe Major of the band when we recorded our debut CD Phoenix Rising. in 2003

The City of Washington Pipe Band is a Grade I bagpipe band from Washington D.C. that I played with for four seasons (2004-2007), commuting up to D.C. for practice. I competed with them in the World Pipe Band Championships (Grade I) in both 2004 and 2005. In 2004 we did well in the Qualifier and were able to compete in the finals where we placed 14th overall. Our performances can be heard on the following CD's
The North Carolina State University Pipes and Drums is a Grade III bagpipe band from Raleigh, NC whose membership is made up of both students and community members from Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and the surrounding cities. I played with this band from August, 2010 until November 2012, serving as Pipe Major of the Grade III band from May 2011 until mid-2012.

The College Park Police Pipes & Drums was a non-competition bagpipe band that I helped form in the early 1990's and in which I served as both Pipe Major and instructor. The band's founder was Tom Sheets, Chief of Police, who actively participated in the band and served as our Drum Major. The bands mission was to foster community relations and also to serve as an honor guard for fallen officers. The band was decommissioned in 1996.

EUSPBA Graduate Certificate (2008) - This certification is given by invitation only and involves a practical exam, a written theory exam, and a historical essay. To pass the practical exam, I had to memorize fourty-eight competition tunes (about 3-4 hours of music) and be able to play any of it from memory before a panel of judges on the bagpipes.

Piping & Drumming Qualifications Board Level Five Piping Certificate (2008) - This certification from Scotland involves a practical exam, a written theory exam, and a historical essay. The practical exam involved memorizing and being able play about 2-3 hours worth of music on the bagpipes. This certification is equivalent to the new Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 7 certification.

As a bagpipe instructor, I have taught a number of prizewinning students in Grades I, II, III, & IV, most of whom play in either the Atlanta Pipe Band or the North Carolina State University Pipes & Drums. In addition to working with individuals, I regularly conduct clinics for several of the Grade 5 bagpipe bands in the Southeastern United States. I have also served as a regular instructor for the Southern Piping & Drumming Workshop conducted by the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA). In both 1993 and 1994, I had the honor to serve as Chairman of the Southern Branch of the EUSPBA.

A very successful day at the Loch Norman Highland Games near Charlotte, North Carolina. In my three competitions that day, I came away with two 1st places and one 2nd place. I won the Piobaireachd contest playing the Lament for MacDonald of KinlochMoidart #1.

The City of Washington Pipe Band playing in the Grade I Qualifier at the 2005 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. I am one of the bagpipers on the far side of the band just to the right of the bass drum and to the left of the first "G" in "Glasgow".

This picture was taken in 1987 during a football game at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville when we received two standing ovations from the crowd of over 95 thousand people. We played for UT several more times as well as playing for Georgia Tech, Jacksonville State, and the University of Alabama. As Pipe Sergeant of the Atlanta Pipe Band, I am the bagpiper in the front right corner of the band.

This picture was taken in 2001 when I was Pipe Major of the Atlanta Pipe Band. I am the bagpiper on the far side of the table (green shirt) and am leading my band through some new music on practice chanters in preparation for the new season.