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The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras is the all-Ireland resource organisation for youth orchestras in Ireland. Read more . .

20th Festival of Youth Orchestras

Festival Poster Top 330Preparations are well under way for the 20th Festival of Youth Orchestras at the National Concert Hall on February 7th 2015. The running order for the concerts are as follows:

Afternoon performance – 3pm

Cork ETB School of Music Junior Orchestra
Young Orchestral Pops Orchestra
IAYO Festival Orchestra
Irish Youth Wind Ensemble

Evening Performance – 8pm
Coole Music Youth Orchestra
St Canice’s NS Senior Orchestra
National Youth Orchestra of Ireland

We have made the final selections for our Ambassadors Programme, so keep an eye on the website for more announcements on this.

IAYO Festival Orchestra
The Festival Orchestra will be conducted by James Cavanagh and will rehearse on the two weekends prior to the Festival in Dublin as well as a short rehearsal on the morning of the Festival itself. We are looking for a full orchestra players of c. grade 5 standard and above to play Sandra Dackow’s arrangement of the Rienzi overture, Hardimann’s Lord of the Dance and a newly commissioned work by Sam Perkin, who wrote so wonderfully for the 20th Anniversary of the ConCorda Chamber Music Course last year. If you would like to nominate somebody to take part you can find the form here and return it to the office. You can also download the repertoire and rehearsal times of the concerts.

Festival Fringe
As a part of the celebrations of the 20th Festival of Youth Orchestras we are planning a Festival Fringe. Festival Fringe events can take place from three weeks before the annual Festival on 7th February 2015 until two weeks afterwards. Any activity that orchestras take part in can be part of the fringe and we would especially love to see members teaming up with other members around the country to share concerts and to exchange players or whole orchestras.
There are plenty of possibilities for activities for the Fringe, so please don’t hesitate to contact the office if you would like to be involved or have any ideas.

Festival Poster Bottom 330


NYOI Touch Bass 2014


28-30 December – Kilkenny College, Castelcomer Road, Killkenny

Closing date for applications is 9th December

Touch Bass is a free residential course for musicians aged 12-18 who play Bassoon, Trombone, Oboe, Double Bass or Viola. Find out more here, or download an application form.


Competition for Ireland’s Top Busker

TG4 are hosting a new talent show in the search for Ireland’s top busker. Open to all ages, the competition will be filmed in late February but applications are open now. 100 acts will be selected to go forward to the live recordings. To make an application, please call 01 284 3877 or email laura@adareproductions.ie


Upcoming Christmas Concerts

DIT Senior Chamber Music Concert: Wednesday 3 December, 8.00pm, Gleeson Theatre, DIT Kevin St | Free

Cork Youth Orchestra present Hayley Westenra and The Snowman on December 13 and 14 in City Hall, Cork. Tickets cost €30. More information can be found here.

Young European Strings School of Music Junior, Intermediate and Chamber orchestras perform traditional Christmas carols and virtuoso pieces from the string repertoire on 21 December. Tickets cost €10. Find more information on their Facebook page.

National Youth Orchestra of Ireland New Year Gala is on 4 January in the National Concert Hall, featuring soloist Les Neish on Tuba. Tickets cost €18 / €13 concession / children €9. Full information can be found here


IAYO Achievement Awards

Each year at the Festival of Youth Orchestras, three awards are presented. The Youth Orchestra Achievement Awards are divided into two categories with the winners receiving €500 each:

  • ‘Development of the Youth Orchestra’ – This award recognises the efforts of member orchestras in promoting the growth and development of their orchestras through any number of means.
  • ‘Special Achievement Award’ –  This award is intended for innovative achievement that benefit a single youth orchestra, or the entire community of youth orchestras.

The Agnes O’Kane Award is presented to a volunteer who has contributed to the growth of youth orchestras in Ireland. The award recognises the vital contribution that volunteers have had in the growth of youth orchestras over the last thirty years. Find out more here, or submit a nomination to the IAYO office by post or email by 19 December.