Symphonic Waves seeking young string players for 2018

Music Generation Galway County and Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 are inviting expressions of interest from young string musicians to participate in the Symphonic Waves ensemble in 2018. This is an exciting opportunity for advanced young string players to develop ensemble playing primarily within the classical genre and engaging with high level artists.

Symphonic Waves is a new youth ensemble for the west of Ireland open to young string players (violin, viola, cello and double bass) who have reached at least Grade 6 playing standard, aged between 13 and 21 who are resident in, based in or taking lessons in Galway, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Clare or Limerick.

The newly appointed conductor/director for 2018 is Professor James Cavanagh LTCL FRIAM (pictured above). James began his career as a trumpet player. He is Head of Performing Groups at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he is also professor of trumpet, lectures in conducting and conducts the RIAM Symphony and Intermediate Orchestras. James has conducted all of Ireland’s professional orchestras and from October 2001 to October 2008 he devised, presented and conducted the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra education residencies around Ireland. James was also Musical Director of the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble until 2007 which he co-founded in 1985. He was curator of Music Generation Sligo’s Tuned In! programme for the past two years.

There is a full and challenging programme of rehearsals and performances planned for 2018, including a six day residential programme from 19-25 August in Petersburg Outdoor Education Centre in Clonbur, Co. Galway, and a short residential programme over the mid-term in October. Beyond 2018, the ensemble will play a significant part in the celebrations of Galway as European Capital of Culture in 2020.

Application forms are now available by email from The closing date for receipt of Expressions of Interest is Friday 1 June 2018. New members are invited to submit an Expression of Interest form with a nomination from their instrumental teacher confirming they have achieved the required playing, musicianship, and sight reading standard.

Established in 2017 as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 programme, Symphonic Waves was conceived of by members of Galway Music Education Partnership (Galway MEP) and grew from an identified need to provide high level progression pathways and advanced ensemble performance opportunities for young musicians across the western seaboard. In 2017, the orchestra was led by conductor, Sinéad Hayes with support from Tom Crowley. The members were mentored by the Galway Music Residency’s Ensemble in Residence, The ConTempo Quartet. The orchestra participated in a ten-day Erasmus-funded youth exchange with German youth orchestra, Schoenbuch Strings. Symphonic Waves performed in Clonbur, the Lodge at Ashford and in the Town Hall Theatre as part of the Baboró International Arts Festival.

Symphonic Waves is managed by Music Generation Galway County, and supported by Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board, Galway European Capital of Culture 2020, Galway County Council, Galway City Council, Udarás na Gaeltachta, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and Music Generation. For further information, please email