Musicians from Ten Countries to Gather in Crumlin for “Connecting People Through Music” Forum

Adult amateur musicians from a score of countries and cities will gather at St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music & the Arts, Crumlin on Saturday, 22 February and Sunday, 23 February including musicians from Singapore, Scotland, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, the United States of America and of course, Ireland.

The events are hosted by St Agnes’ CCMA, the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras and St Agnes’ Parents String Orchestra. You can view the full programme here.

On Saturday, 22 February, there will be a Round Table Forum from 9am – 3pm followed by rehearsals for a performance the following day.

On Sunday, 23 February, there will be rehearsals from 11am in preparation for the Celebration Concert at 4pm in Scoil Úna Naofa Hall.

The international guests and Dublin-based players will combine forces for the Celebration Concert which will be attended by President Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins. The concert marks the 10th anniversary of St Agnes Parents’ String Orchestra, a late starter orchestra managed by St Agnes’ CCMA and conducted by Seamus Doyle.

What is so remarkable about this gathering?
These are neither professional nor youth orchestra musicians. The guest musicians coming to Crumlin represent Late Starter Orchestras in their home cities and countries, and have gathered for the weekend with several objectives:

  • to network at the Round Table Forum;
  • to discuss music rights for adults of any age, as expressed by the International Music Council;
  • to share their experiences;
  • to form an international network of Late Starter Orchestras and enable future networking opportunities and exchange of musicians between orchestras;
  • to rehearse and perform together.

The cultural and social impact of collective music making is enormous. Alongside sport, music represents the largest arena of active civic engagement in culture in our society. For many citizens, performance by amateur musicians will be their principal experience of live music as listeners. In addition, the health benefits of music making at every stage of life are internationally recognised – both hosts in Dublin and international guest musicians know this well. This is why they have come together. By his attendance, President Higgins himself confirms the importance he attaches to inclusive artistic work carried out by all sectors within the community.

Late Starter Orchestras
Players can join with no previous experience of music in any form and may be adults of any age who never had the opportunity to engage with music in school days. Some may have learned as kids, given it up as many do and come back to it as “returners”. A few may have previously learned an instrument such as piano, and have made a “switch” to an instrument that brings an opportunity to join an ensemble.

Participanting in the Forum are players from:

  • Brussels, Belgium – UCCLE Late Starters Ensemble
  • England –  Cobweb Orchestra
  • London, England – East London Late Starters Orchestra
  • London, England – Hackney Community Orchestra
  • Yorkshire, England – Yorkshire Late Starter Strings
  • England – CoMA Contemporary Music for All
  • Berlin, Germany – Happy Strings, Tomatenklang Musikschule
  • Dublin, Ireland – Offbeat Ensemble Offbeat Ensemble
  • Dublin, Ireland – St Agnes Parents’ String Orchestra
  • Dublin, Ireland – Sounds Ensemble
  • The Netherlands – Het Betuws Dagorkest
  • Glasgow, Scotland – Glasgow Senior Citizens Orchestra
  • Singapore – Da Kapo Late Starters Orchestra
  • Madrid, Spaain – Orquesta Crescendo, Tres Cantos
  • Houston, Texas, USA – New York Late Starters Orchestra

For further information on the forum, please see