The piping world lost another of its veterans the week of November 10 with the passing of Thomas Kerr Hinchey. Tom passed away in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, where he had resided with his wife Irene over the past few years. For those that knew and played with Tom, they will remember him as a diligent musician and ardent enthusiast of piping at all levels. It was his life. It was his passion.
He may best be remembered by bandsmen in the Syracuse, New York, area where he was instrumental in bringing the Balmoral Pipe Band to the fore in Grade 2 competition back in the mid-1960s. He went on to have a successful stint with the Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band of St. Catharines, Ontario, before his career took him too far away to remain active in the playing circles.
From his home base in State College, Pennsylvania, he became a member of the judges’ panel for Eastern United States Pipe Band Association and remained active until his death, even after suffering a near fatal stroke some years ago. At the time of his death he was writing a book on his life and times in piping. In it, he had several chapters designated for his close associations with people like the late John Wilson, for whom he held a special affection. In addition to this, Tom composed many pipe tunes, of which one, “Holly Glenn,” was published in John Wilson’s Book 3.
He leaves behind his wife Irene, a piper from the Rochester, New York, area. Irene had been Tom’s care-giver for the several years after his first wife, Fern, passed away. In addition, Tom leaves behind two daughters, Holly and Laurel.
We extend our condolences to Irene, Holly, Laurel and Tom’s entire extended family.
– Submitted by Ken Eller