In Memory

in memory

Terence James McHugh
 September 13, 1932 – September 18, 2011
For the past two years Terry McHugh fought melanoma with strength and dignity.  On September 18, 2011 he passed away peacefully at home with his loved ones at his side.
Terry was a prominent figure in the development of piping and pipe bands in the Midwest.   Born in Chicago in 1932, Terry was named after his father who also played pipes.  His family moved back to Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, Ireland where he grew up until he returned to Chicago in his late teens.  Terry was Pipe Sergeant and Pipe Major of the Shannon Rovers Pipe Band and twice took them to compete at the InterContinental Pipe Band Championships in Toronto.  In 1974, he was a founding member and long standing Pipe Major of The Invermich Gaelic Society Pipe Band that advanced from grade 4 in 1981 to Grade 2 in 1989, and returned to Grade 3 until the band disbanded.  Invermich won several MWPBA Champion Supreme titles and competed regularly on the PPBSO circuit. Invermich made several trips to Scotland and received a Best Overseas Band Award.  In recent years, Terry founded and was Pipe Major of the Doonaree Pipe Band. 
Terry’s greatest impact on piping came through his leadership as the first President of the Midwest Pipe Band Association, which he resurrected in the late 1970’s.  Terry and Bill Currie were the driving force behind major pipe band contests held in Grant Park on Chicago’s lakefront. These contests are still fondly remembered. The contests were financed with grants from the city and donations from major corporations.  The contests ran for six years and featured a first prize of $4,000 for Grade I, a prize that would still be considered generous 30 years later. Terry used his personal contacts to convince the top bands to come to Chicago and was able to offer the bands not only a large travel allowance, but additional compensation for playing at the legendary Ceilidh held after the contests at the prestigious Conrad Hilton Hotel.  Terry also used his influence to bring in the top adjudicators from both Canada and Scotland.  These contests exposed Midwest players to top-quality performances on a regular basis and inspired many local bands to improve their standard of play. More importantly, the 1982 contest brought together for the first time the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band and the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.
Terry was a tireless teacher who developed a vast number of players, including his own children and grandchildren.  He shared his love for piping by teaching everyone who wanted to learn, including several suburban police bands and youth residents of the Orland Park community.  He will be greatly missed by all who had the privelige of knowing him.