Who are we?
We currently are 112 members of the Emerald Society of the NYPD who also play the great highland bagpipes or the drums. We are all members of the Emerald Society, but of course not every member of the society itself is a piper. That would be a band much to enormous to manage. To contact the Emerald Society proper, please see our links page.
The Emerald Society itself was started on March 16, 1953. The idea to establish an organization of Irish-American police began with a small group of policewomen. Doris Burke, Lillian Reilly, Mary Paterson and Eileen Romancheck were the women who set things in motion. Their grassroots efforts would eventually lead the NYPD to have the first Emerald Society in America. The women sought out and recruited potential members from various police gatherings across the city. They received the solid support and assistance from men like Jerry Sullivan, Charlie Crowley, Bob Bowden, Bill McGowan and Tom Meaney. All of these men would later serve as presidents in the early years of the organization. Many others would also join in the campaign. As interest gained momentum, early meetings grew in attendance and goals were set. Eventually a charter was established, and by-laws enacted, thus creating a formal structure. Forty charter members were present when the voting took place officially forming the organization. The first president was a detective named Henry Fitzgerald. He would later be appointed "Life President," honoring his distinctive service.
To Learn more about how the band grew out of the Emerald Society please visit our history page.
In regards to our music; we tend to play Irish tunes that have been re-worked to fit properly on the pipes. Tunes such as "Minstrel
Boy" and "Wearing of the Green" were our early staples, and are still played often and to this day as well as "Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and many others. As one might expect we haven't been able to avoid playing such favorites as "Scotland the Brave" and tunes from a host of other nations. Some fantastic bagpipe tunes are being written by people all over the globe, and we are not afraid to take on any new, challenging tune (NYPD Police are not known for being afraid of much if anything at all).
To purchase or download our latest CD, please follow the following links: