Amateur and Adult Orchestras

Ireland has a number of amateur and adult orchestras across the country. We have compiled a list by county for anyone who may be interested in joining one in their locality.

This is a list that we maintain to provide information and to be helpful to those interested in orchestra performance however, as we are a youth orchestra organisation, we are not always fully aware of all other orchestras so this list may not be finished.

For anyone interested in playing in bands, please contact the Irish Association of Brass and Concert Bands (IABCB).

Please note, there are also a number of third-level orchestras in this list who may only allow students to join. We would recommend contacting all orchestras directly for further information.

If your orchestra would like to be included in the amateur and adult orchestras list, please email info@iayo.ie.

Antrim

Ballymena Chamber Orchestra
The Ballymena Chamber Orchestra consists of musicians from Ballymena and across Northern Ireland: professional musicians, teachers, and advanced students, and welcomes applications for new membership.
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Belfast Bach Consort
The Belfast Bach Consort is a group of musically-minded friends who gather once a month and perform a Bach cantata in the context of a church service.
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Playing for Pleasure Orchestra, Belfast
Playing for Pleasure is an informal group of musicians which provides a relaxed and enjoyable environment to learn how to play with others, or simply to get back into playing based in Ulster College of Music.
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Telephone: (+44) 28 90 381 314

Queen’s University Symphony Orchestra
Queen’s University Symphony Orchestra is the student-run orchestra of Queen’s University Belfast, consisting of approximately sixty students from various subject areas throughout the University.
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Studio Symphony Orchestra
The Studio Symphony Orchestra is a recognised leader in amateur music making in Northern Ireland, attracting skilled musicians from across the country and performing regular public concerts in a number of local venues. The orchestra is professionally directed by members of the Ulster Orchestra.
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The Girona Community Orchestra
The Girona Community Orchestra si an amateur group of musicians from the North Coast area of Northern Ireland of all ages and abilities who just love to come together to make music.
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Telephone: (+44) 7708 273740

Armagh

South Ulster Sinfonia
South Ulster Sinfonia is a community orchestra that meets every two weeks in Craigavon, Co Armagh. Run by the members of the orchestra, it provides one of the very few local opportunities for adults of all ages to come together and share in their passion for playing music.
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Cavan

Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra
Amateur orchestra for adults and children who play popular, classical & trad music. Rehearsals every Monday evening in Killygarry Community Centre Cavan.
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Telephone: 087 650 9306

Cork

Cork Concert Orchestra
Cork Concert Orchestra has developed a reputation for delivering top quality concerts with full orchestra of 70+ players. They have presented some fantastic summer concerts with movie and musical themes over the last number of years.
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Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra
Building on the legacy of one of Cork’s finest musicians, Professor Aloys Fleischmann, the main aim of the Cork Fleischmann Orchestra is simply to create beautiful music, under the baton of conductor Keith Pascoe.
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Cork Light Orchestra
The Cork Light Orchestra (CLO) was formed by a group of enthusiastic amateur and semi-professional musicians who had varying experience of other musical settings. Their Musical Director is well-known cellist Ilse de Ziah.
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Cork Philharmonic Wind Orchestra
Cork Philharmonic Winds was founded by its conductor, Robert O Brien, in 2012. Membership is a mix of professionals, amateur players and advanced students and is open to anyone with a standard equivalent to grade 8 or above.
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CIT Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra
The CIT Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays from 19:30 – 22:00 in the Curtis Auditorium, CIT Cork School of Music with Conor Palliser.
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Donegal

Donegal Chamber Orchestra
The Donegal Chamber Orchestra features classical string players from across Donegal and is dedicated to helping students and amateur musicians achieve the highest level of excellence in performance.
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Mind Your Quavers
Mind Your Quavers are a friendly bunch and are guided by two exceptional musicians, both violinists – Irene Donnelly-Tinney and Seamus McGuire. Their emphasis is on getting back to playing music and enjoying it. They meet in Errigal College Letterkenny on Thursday nights at 7pm. They are part of the Donegal Music Education Partnership. Phone for more details, 07491 76293 or email musiceducation@donegaletb.ie
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Dublin

City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra
CDCO is one of Ireland’s leading chamber orchestras, with membership drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds. They strive to perform a wide variety of repertoire to the very highest standard under Artistic Director Gavin Maloney.
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Co-Orch Dublin
Co-Orch Dublin was set up in 2011, to support Irish musicians, composers, conductors and charities. Co-Orch is, as its name suggests, a cooperative. This means that all aspects of the orchestra’s life are chosen by its members including the concert programmes, dates and partner charities.
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Telephone: 085 213 2905

Dublin Symphony Orchestra
The Dublin Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1967, is a non-profit voluntary organisation that is funded primarily through membership subscriptions and concerts receipts.
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Dublin Orchestral Players
The Dublin Orchestral Players is the longest established voluntary orchestra, based in Dublin, Ireland. The orchestra rehearses weekly and performs three main concert programmes each year.
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The Hibernian Orchestra
Founded in 1981, the Dublin-based Hibernian Orchestra (formerly the Hibernian Chamber Orchestra) is now recognised as the leading voluntary orchestra in Ireland. Playing 3-5 concerts per season in Dublin and other towns and cities throughout Ireland.
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Humanitarian Symphony Orchestra
The Humanitarian Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is a voluntary community-based orchestra founded in 2015 by Louise Mooney and Ian O’Maonaigh and are based in Drumcondra, Dublin 9.
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Telephone: 01 537 6456 (Ian O’Maonaigh) / 087 431 4450 (Louise Mooney)

The Offbeat Ensemble
The Offbeat Ensemble is a late-starter adult string orchestra based in Phibsboro, Dublin. Their aim is to give everyone the chance to learn music in a fun, friendly and supportive environment. The orchestra covers violin, viola, cello, double bass, and ensemble playing.
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Royal Irish Academy of Music Philharmonia
The RIAM Philharmonia consists of, on average 50 full-time students of orchestral instruments at the RIAM. They gather for rehearsals and concerts four times each year and work with internationally renowned conductors.
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Telephone: 01 676 4412

Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra
The RIAM Symphony orchestra is made up of approx 90 part-time students of the RIAM. They rehearse on a weekly basis and perform the full gamut of orchestral repertoire under conductor James Cavanagh.
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Telephone: 01 676 4412

St Agnes Parent’s Orchestra
Currently, St Agnes’ Parents String Orchestra have approximately 85 members with an age range of more than 50 years. The membership includes not only parents and grandparents but those in the community and retired staff – adults, young and old, who have discovered a passion for music and taken the plunge. No previous experience is expected and an instrument can be given on loan.
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Trinity Orchestra
Trinity Orchestra is the only entirely student-run orchestra in Ireland. The orchestra features some of Ireland’s most talented musicians, with members coming from every corner of Trinity, brought together by their love for music.
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TU Dublin Conservatory of Music & Drama Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Orchestra
TU Dublin Conservatory of Music & Drama is a centre of excellence in performing arts education and has a number of orchestras and ensembles.
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Galway

Luminosa Music
Luminosa Music are a collection of Galway based professional musicians with world-class credentials in performance, working to create Galway’s first professional orchestra.
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Telephone: 086 352 6455

NUIG Orchestra Society
The NUI Galway Concert Orchestra Society is a university-based orchestra that has provided the Galway region with quality musical tutorage, and performances for 16 seasons since being formed.
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Kildare

County Kildare Orchestra
County Kildare Orchestra is an amateur orchestra based in Kildare founded in February 1998. Their mission is to bring music to the widest audience possible.
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Kilkenny

Kilkenny Community Orchestra
Kilkenny Community Orchestra is an amateur classical orchestra based in Kilkenny and welcomes members from all areas including Carlow and the Midlands. Conducted by Sonja Cadogan.
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Limerick

University of Limerick Orchestra
The University of Limerick Orchestra (ULO) is a community-based orchestra, funded by the University of Limerick. The players are made up of students and staff from the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, the Limerick Municipal School of Music, as well as from across the greater Limerick region.
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Limerick Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Robert Houlihan, the orchestra is made up of amateur, student and professional musicians.
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Mayo

Mayo Concert Orchestra
Mayo Concert Orchestra regularly plays at community, charity and professional events. The orchestra’s repertoire includes classical favourites, themes from musicals, arrangements of traditional Irish tunes, original pieces and sacred music. The Orchestra is currently lead by Kathy Fahey and they are a community orchestra open to all – you are not required to audition. Rehearsals are between 8pm and 9.30pm on Wednesday evenings.
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Sligo

Sligo Baroque Orchestra
Sligo Baroque Orchestra began life as Sligo Early Music Ensemble in 1990 at a time when classical instrumental music in Sligo was almost non-existent. The orchestra is markedly inclusive, involving much sought-after professional musicians as well as amateur and student instrumentalists, and involving members from very different musical backgrounds.
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Telephone: 071 9854122

Wexford

Gateway Orchestra
The Gateway Orchestra is a mixed ability orchestra led by Emily Redmond, based in Wexford Town. They are a sister orchestra of Wexford Sinfonia.
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Wexford Sinfonia
Wexford Sinfonia aims to bring together professional and established instrumentalists, performers and conductors with amateur players in the South East to provide a high standard of music performance and appreciation for players and audiences alike.
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Wicklow

Greystones Orchestra
Greystones Orchestra has been making music for the past 26 years. They are a friendly bunch and welcome new players from Wicklow and beyond and rehearse on Monday evenings in St Patrick’s primary school in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
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Telephone: 087 919 4991