About Us

The Orchestras at Albemarle HS, Jack Jouett MS, and Sutherland MS are in Albemarle County Public Schools  in Charlottesville, Virginia, and have been directed by Carrie Finnegan for 19 years. The orchestras are committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment to serve students in playing bowed orchestral instruments and making a variety of music together. Albemarle Orchestras is committed to a high standard of musicianship and a sense of community by its members.

The Albemarle Orchestras are proud to boast the following achievements: 

  • Superior ratings at district assessments since 2007

  • First Place and Superior Ratings at seventeen national competitions

  • 2011 and 2016 Cruise Festival Grand Championships

  • Albemarle High School String Ensemble performance at the 2011 VMEA Conference 

  • Albemarle High School music program awarded the VMEA Blue Ribbon Award for 13 consecutive years.

The director of the orchestras, Carrie Finnegan, is a 2002 graduate from James Madison University.  She studied violin with Dr. Wanchi Huang, violin and conducting with Dr. Robert McCashin, and served as vice president of the JMU ASTA chapter.


Originally from Woodbridge, Virginia, Mrs. Finnegan began playing violin in her middle school orchestra, which instilled her passion for strings. She was a member and vice president of the award-winning orchestras at Woodbridge High School under Mr. Bud Hearne and a member and orchestra librarian of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William.


Mrs. Finnegan began her teaching career with the orchestras here and has grown the program from just 36 students to over 200 students.  Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Finnegan has served as the State Orchestra Representative for VBODA since 2012 and enjoys serving on numerous committees for the state.  One of her passions is serving her alma mater as the Logistics Director for the JMU Spring String Thing Camp.


Aside from a busy work and family life, she enjoys the occasional performance opportunity and guest conducting for regional and county orchestras. Mrs. Finnegan resides in Charlottesville with her husband, Kerry, who enjoys participating with the Charlottesville Municipal Band, and two sons, Brady and Quinn, who are budding violinists themselves.

Erin Flynn is the T.A. with the orchestras. She graduated with a B.A. in Music from Kutztown University, where she studied cello under Dr. Marie-Aline Cadieux, viola under Dr. Mary Ogletree, and chamber music with Maria Asteriadou of Manhattan School of Music and Kurt Nikkannen, concertmaster of the New York Ballet, all at Kutztown University.

Erin maintains a private teaching studio in Charlottesville, where she teaches cello and chamber music under Erin Flynn Music. She also contracts weddings and plays chamber music for private events locally, as well as performs with her chamber group annually as a passion project of pieces that are fun and interesting to it's members.  Erin is also a member of Melodious Strings chamber ensemble. She has also performed with Charlottesville Opera, Waynesboro Symphony, Genesius Theater in Reading, PA and Pocono Live Arts.

Erin also likes reading and listening to audiobooks, playing Dungeons and Dragons, picking up odd-shaped objects and putting them back down at ACAC, snorkling in the James River, seeing live music, cooking vegetarian foods and climbing trees.  Erin also loves a good excuse to dress in costume, which is why Halloween is her favorite holiday, but "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is her favorite movie.

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Charlottesville, VA