Terry Tully's name is synonymous with Traditional Irish Music in the world of bagpipes. His accomplishments both as a solo player, composer and as Pipe Major of St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band have undoubtedly boosted the credibility of Irish piping and pipe bands.
Born 2nd June 1956, Terry has followed in the footsteps of his paternal grandfather, father, mother and uncles who were all pipers. His first lessons began in 1966, his first and only tutor was his father Tommy and his first band was St Joseph's pipe band Clondalkin Co. Dublin. Terry's father was Pipe Major of SLOT from 1964 and was also tutor and founder member of the Clondalkin band in 1937.
Terry's solo career began in the juvenile grade at the All Ireland Championships in 1971 where he finished 3rd to winner lan Jess and runner up Vivian McCann. Throughout his 25+ years competing in solos, he went on to win many titles including three senior All Ireland titles.
At the end of the 1973 band season Terry joined the ranks of St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band along with this two brothers, Patrick and Brendan who were both pipers, and under the leadership of his father. 1974 was a great year for SLOT and a proud moment for PM Tommy Tully when he was carried off the field by his three sons and other band members after winning the Grade 3 All Ireland Championships.
Terry became Pipe Sergeant of the band in 1980, a job which also included helping his father with setting up the sound. The early years in grade two saw hard times for the SLOT band, numbers were dwindling and many band members had to emigrate to get work. But as always, work continued in the band with many young pipers getting their education from the master, PM Tommy Tully.
1984 was tinged with sadness for just as things were starting to gel, Tommy passed away at the young age of 61. Just two weeks later Terry led the band to victory at a local competition and has being doing just that ever since.
There have been many significant influences down through the years in the development of Terry as a piper of distinction. The principal one being his late father Tommy who devoted 47 years of his life to the Great Highland Bagpipe. Other legendary names Terry will always mention include, Tommy Anderson, Harold Hook, Sean Faloon and John Wilson.
Terry retired as Pipe Major of the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band at the end of the 2013 season. his trophy cabinet included 3 All Ireland Grade 1 Championships, 4 Major Championship Titles including the World Pipe Band Championships in 2010, plus many top 6 placings in the majors. He handed over the reins to his son Alen who had been Pipe Sergeant of the band for many years prior. Terry has been and intends to continue being an influence in both the musical and technical development of the band into the future.
There have been many memories with some very happy times and very proud moments for the Pipe Major of 30 years. However, like his father, his proudest moment came when his own son Alen and other band members carried him off the field after winning the Grade One World Pipe Band Championships in 2010.