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

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26th Festival of Youth Orchestras 2022 | 3pm, Saturday, 19 February 2022

The IAYO Festival Orchestra, conducted by Tom Crowley with soloist Rachael Masterson at the 25th Festival of Youth Orchestras. Photo by John Soffe Photography.

We are delighted that the Festival is happening once again!

A date for the diary! The annual IAYO Festival of Youth Orchestras is due to be held at 3pm on Saturday, 19 February 2022.

Get tickets here.

We are thrilled to return to the National Concert Hall Dublin for our annual Festival of Youth Orchestras! The 2022 edition will see young musicians from across Ireland take to the stage to perform classical works and modern arrangements for youth orchestra in a variety of styles. It’s a family-friendly event not to be missed!

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Online Rehearsal Equipment Available to Borrow

While we wrapped up our Online Chamber Ensemble project with a thrilling and emotional, real-life performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat, we want to take one final look back at the journey and let you know that we have the equipment available in IAYO for anyone who is interested in taking on a similar project!

We would love to offer the opportunity to anyone who is interested in learning and establishing their own online chamber ensemble as we have 20 sets of the equipment (microphone, stand, lead and audio interface) that you would need in order to do this.

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Keeping Orchestras Engaged Peer-Sharing Session | Online Workshop

In February 2021, we hosted a peer-sharing session on keeping orchestras engaged over Zoom.

We heard from Paula Klein of Ulster Youth Orchestra, Joanna Crooks from St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music and the Arts in Dublin, Sinéad Hayes from Athenry Music School Sinfonietta and Sophie Butler from ConCorda Chamber Music Course for Strings – all of whom have had very successful online engagement this year.

Watch the video and click the link for the podcast and further resources.

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Be a Friend of IAYO!

Celebrate Ireland’s youth orchestras and help to give young musicians from all over Ireland the opportunity of a lifetime to perform at the Festival of Youth Orchestras at the National Concert Hall.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Youth Orchestras, IAYO launched a Friends scheme – an opportunity for everyone who is passionate about Ireland’s youth orchestras and the Festival to support us and the amazing work of our members.

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Office Closed to Visitors due to Covid-19

Just a note to let you know that, in line with the government advice, the IAYO office will be closed to visitors until further notice. We all plan to keep working away from various locations so the office mobile (086 0570062) will continue to be answered during office hours and we are all available on email as per usual.

Wishing you all the best for the coming weeks and hoping that our collective action manages to contain the spread of the virus.

Irish Youth Wind Ensemble 2022

The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble Summer Residential course 2022 will take place in University of Limerick from Sunday, 24 to Saturday, 30 July 2022.

Applications are now open to woodwind, brass and percussion musicians aged between 16 and 25 during the course and have a minimum of Grade 6 standard (or equivalent).

As we will be providing hospitality services as part of IYWE 2022, government regulations regarding vaccinations, testing and other public health measures will apply.

Auditions will take place in Cork on Saturday, 5 March 2022 and in Dublin on Saturday, 12 and Sunday, 13 March 2022.

The closing date for your audition application is Friday, 25 February 2022.

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Covid-19 Resources

Update: We have updated our Covid-19 Resources to include Covid-19 risk mitigation for youth orchestras: a practical approach. The document extends other available guidelines with specific advice for youth orchestra rehearsals. Our thanks to Wendy Arlow at Dublin Youth Orchestras for her ongoing contributions to our work on Covid-19.

We have developed a webpage to help youth orchestras and other youth and amateur ensembles begin in-person rehearsals in the coming months.

It will contain up-to-date information on protocols and restrictions and links to relevant documents and resources. This is a working document and will be updated regularly.

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Online workshop | There’s so Much More to Zoom! | Thursday, 13 May

On Thursday, 13 May 2021 we hosted an interactive, online workshop There is so much more to Zoom! with Clíodhna Ní Aodáin – an interactive workshop for conductors of orchestras and ensembles and music teachers to showcase the possibilities that Zoom presents. You can watch a video of the workshop below.

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Online and Internet Teaching Resources

As our members have had to close their doors to teaching lessons in a classroom setting, we have seen a number of them creating online teaching programmes and conducting their lessons via online platforms such as Skype and Zoom (which is free for unlimited one-on-one meetings / lessons).

We think this is a wonderful idea and we wanted to provide a few resources for anyone who is thinking of starting online lessons, but would like a little bit more information.

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Video: Online Workshop on Delivering Online Orchestra and Performance Models

On Thursday, 13 August 2020, Katharine Mac Mághnuis of Athenry Music School delivered an online workshop on delivering online orchestra and performance models – strategy, problems and possible solutions.

You can watch the video “delivering online orchestra and performance models – strategy, problems and possible solutions” above.

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