Youth Orchestra Achievement Awards

Announcement: Youth Orchestra Ovation Awards
The annual youth orchestra awards will now be known as the Youth Orchestra Ovation Awards (formerly the Youth Orchestra Achievement Awards).

The Youth Orchestra Ovation Awards will run in line with the academic school year and the first edition of these annual awards will be awarded in October 2021, not at the Festival of Youth Orchestras.

We are delighted to announce that conductor Eímear Noone will present the awards!

We will be announcing further details in the New Year.

Each year, two bursaries of €1,000 are awarded to IAYO member orchestras to acknowledge achievements and significant developments during the year.

Over the years we have seen many fantastic orchestra projects and initiatives.

The aim of the awards is to acknowledge the particular accomplishments of IAYO member orchestras which have contributed significantly to the development of these orchestras.

Youth Orchestra Achievement Awards

At the 25th Festival of Youth Orchestras on 8 February 2020, €2000 was divided amongst three award winners – Symphonic Waves Youth Orchestra for their Symphonic Schools project, Mayo Youth Orchestra for their live orchestra and ballet performance, and Athenry Youth Orchestra for their long-running project which promotes Irish composers and young musicians involvement.

Applications for the 2020 Youth Orchestra Achievement Awards, which will be awarded at the 2021 Festival of Youth Orchestras in February 2021 will open later in the year.

You can download the guidelines for applications in .pdf format or word document.

There are no specific categories for applications: judges are free to choose two contrasting applications if they wish. All achievements will be considered in light of the age and level of development of a particular orchestra.

Each award carries a prize of €1,000. IAYO reserves the right to make a joint or split award in the case where we wish to acknowledge two orchestras for their activities. In such a case, each orchestra will receive €500.

Applications will open in late 2020.

If you are unsure as to whether you should apply, here is a list of examples of those who have won the awards over the past number of years:

  • Young European Strings won for the extremely high standard of technical and musical accomplishment of their CD, Third Edition.
  • Julianstown Youth Orchestra won for their commitment to expanding the orchestra and increasing the range of instruments available by the intense work of their musical director and volunteer committee. By the end of 2012, the orchestra had nearly doubled in size.
  • St Canice’s NS Kilkenny won the award for their concert which celebrated their 30 years of existence. From its humble beginnings in the early 1980s, initiated by Gina O’Leary & Agnes O’Kane, the programme expanded with the acquisition of more instruments, more music teachers and more enthusiastic students! The music programme granted all children the opportunity to play a musical instrument.
  • Athenry Youth Orchestra received the award for their orchestra development and outreach programmes in schools in Athenry and the surrounding areas. The programmes take place during school hours in the schools and provide children with free access to instruments that can often be expensive or more unusual.
  • The East Meets West Orchestra received the award for the collaboration of Kilbride and Lakeside Band from West Wicklow and the Headford Youth Orchestra from County Galway and their concert. The goal of the combined orchestra was to expand the playing experience of both groups, led by their musical directors.
  • The Carlow Youth Orchestra won the award for its ongoing relationship with Carlow School of Music and its efforts to develop the individual standard of its members.
  • Musica Fusion Youth Orchestra won the award for their ‘Operation Integration’ which led to 80 young musicians aged between 4 and 18 performing in their orchestra together through having special arrangements created of orchestral pieces which contained multiple lines for each instrument to make the pieces accessible to the wide range of ages performing.

Previous Winners

Alexandra College Orchestra Dublin, RIAM Intermediate Orchestra, The Ryan School of Music, Tipperary, County Tipperary Ryan Youth Orchestra and Dunlavin Youth Orchestra, Dublin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Herbert Lodge Youth Orchestra and Mayo Youth Orchestra, WIT Junior Strings, Mayo Youth Orchestra, McEgan College, Macroom, NYOI Touch Bass Programme, Young Dublin Symphonia, Galway Youth Orchestra, Kylemore College Orchestra, Liffey Valley Youth Orchestra, Sr Concepta Murphy and Donegal Youth Orchestra, Greystones Youth Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, South East Ulster Youth Orchestra, Summer Music on the Shannon, Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Dr Hugh Maguire, Mayo Youth Orchestra, St Canice’s National School Instrumental Programme, Carlow Youth Orchestra, Cork City Music Colege and Young Dublin Symphonia, Dr Sandra Dackow, Dublin Youth Orchestras, County Wexford Youth Orchestra, Music Matters, St Peter’s College, Dunboyne, Young European Strings, Carlow Youth Orchestra, Galway Youth Orchestra, Laois School of Music Orchestra, St Canice’s NS Orchestra, Fingal County Youth Orchestra, Maynooth University Orchestra, St Agnes Primary School Orchestra, Young European Strings School of Music, Coole Music, Cork Youth Orchestra, County Roscommon Youth Orchestra, Summer Music on the Shannon, Athlone Community College, County Wexford Youth Orchestra, OURchestra, St Vincent’s School Orchestra, Carlow Youth Orchestra, Kylemore College Orchestra, St Agnes / Scoil Colm Primary School Orchestra, Young European Strings, Donegal Youth Orchestra, Julianstown Youth Orchestra, Laois School of Music Orpheus Orchestra, St Canice’s National School Music Programme, Athenry Youth Orchestra, East Meets West Orchestra, Carlow Youth Orchestra, County Tipperary Ryan Youth Orchestra, Coole Music Youth Orchestra, County Wexford Youth Orchestra, Esker Festival Orchestra, Musica Fusion School of Music, Julianstown Youth Orchestra for Gesamtkunstwerk, St Agnes’ Chamber Orchestra, ‘Music Makes Magic’ from Howth Primary School Orchestra Project.