The South Carolina Music Educators Association is proud to announce the next president-elect of our association, Mr. Tom Finigan.
Tom Finigan is the Director of Bands for the Colleton County High School Band of Blue and coordinator of the Instrumental Music Program for the Colleton County Schools. He is a native of Walterboro, SC and is in his thirty-sixth year with the Colleton County Band Program. Mr. Finigan has been associated with The Band of Blue either as a student, staff member, director, and a parent since 1976. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Education degree in school administration and supervision from the Citadel.
His professional affiliations include Music Educators National Conference, National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu Honorary Band Masters Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, Kappa Delta Epsilon, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, South Carolina Music Educators Association, and the South Carolina Band Directors Association.
The Band of Blue under Finigan’s leadership has continued a tradition of excellence in our state. The Band of Blue has continued to perform engaging and innovative half time shows and has been named a top twelve finalist at the state marching Championships. The Colleton County High School Band has been awarded the Outstanding Performance Award nine times and has received Superior Ratings in Class III, IV and V at concert festival. The Band of Blue was a featured performer in the 2008 and 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, DC. and has performed in the 2010, 2013, and 2017 Krewe of Endyminion Parades in the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA.
During Mr. Finigan’s tenure as Director of Middle School Bands, The Walterboro Junior Band and The Colleton County Junior Band received the Outstanding Performance Award from the South Carolina Band Directors Association sixteen years consecutively and a total of eighteen times out of nineteen years. The Junior Band under his direction performed at the 1992 South Carolina Middle School Association Convention and was a featured ensemble along with composer John O’Reilly at the 1993 South Carolina Music Educators Association In-Service Conference. Under Mr. Finigan, hundreds of students have received numerous excellent and superior ratings and Region and All-State chairs at various SCBDA sponsored events.
Finigan served as an assistant band director for Bill Young at Walterboro High School and Colleton County High School. From 1986-2005, the Band of Blue experienced a huge growth in the instrumental band program at the middle school and high school. Finigan along with Joe and Cathy Meshach served as assistant band directors when The Band of Blue won the 4A SCBDA State Marching Band Championships in 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1997. The Band of Blue also performed in the 1994 Tournament of Roses Parade and the 2000 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Bill Young was Director of the Band of Blue from 1973-2005.
Mr. Finigan is the past president of South Carolina Band Directors Association from 2003 to 2005. He served on the SCBDA Executive Board for the past 29 years. He also served as the SCBDA State Marching Committee Chairman for eight years and is currently serving as the SCBDA and South Carolina Music Educators Association Historian. He is also active as an adjudicator, clinician, and visual designer, having written for many fine area bands. Mr. Finigan was inducted in the South Carolina Band Directors Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame for Theta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, International School Bandmasters Fraternity.
Mr. Finigan’s family includes Lori Connelly Shearer and his two sons. Thomas, 26, is a 2018 graduate of the University of South Carolina and is currently Director of Bands at Cheraw High School and William, 21, is a junior music education and tuba major at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.