Youth Orchestra Day of Celebration | Sunday, 9 May

On Sunday, 9 May 2021, we held an online, Youth Orchestra Day of Celebration, where we celebrated the incredible work of youth orchestras and ensembles that has continued over the past year in keeping the music going with two brilliant online events!

Image with loads of young musicians performing in their own Zoom boxes


Youth Orchestra Day of Celebration | Feature Film

At 3pm, to launch the proceedings, we streamed a newly created film of youth orchestras and young musicians alike, performing at home and in-person (but socially-distanced), throughout Ireland over the past twelve months.

Compered by Seán Rocks, the hour-long film featured interviews and performance highlights from during lockdown. We also saw the Online Chamber Ensemble who are playing together, without latency, using real-time-audio rehearsal software. No pre-recording or stitching together for these musicians!

The finale of this video was the premiere of the specially commissioned Hope Springs Eternal composed by Vincent Kennedy featuring more than 250 musicians from across the country who recorded themselves at home for inclusion in this project.

You can watch the full film below and please feel free to share the celebration!

You can watch Hope Springs Eternal below:

And there’s more …


Carnival of Orchestras

At 6pm, there was a Carnival of Orchestras, an online, play-along at home performance featuring over 150 young players aged 6 to 12, from nine junior orchestras steered by St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music & the Arts, Crumlin, Dublin.

This project was initiated by St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music & the Arts, Crumlin, Dublin ( and was coordinated by Joanna Crooks, who invited IAYO member orchestras to participate, following an initiative of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras to nominate Sunday, 9 May to celebrate youth music during the pandemic year.

Taking part remotely in the Carnival Orchestra were young musicians from Accora Orchestra, County Cavan, Athenry Music School, County Galway, Budding Bows WIT Waterford, Kiltra School of Music, County Wexford, Music Generation Louth, Sligo Academy of Music, Sligo, St Agnes’ CCMA Junior Strings, Crumlin, Dublin, St Peter’s School, Phibsboro, Dublin, and The Staves Orchestra, Carlow College of Music, County Carlow.

This repertoire included the story of the Tiger Who Came to Tea suite of eight pieces which was adapted to reflect the pandemic world of the children and to reference their many home counties across Ireland, and two movements of a piece called The Covid Saga, composed by Robert Mahon, Director of Kiltra School of Music for his own orchestra, which was shared with the other performing orchestras. There were jokes and a live pet-parade, Smiler the Clown, and greetings from the young musicians to many family members that they may not have seen for quite a long time!

There were 411 devices joined in on the Zoom concert from across Ireland and the world! Audience members came in from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Ireland, France, India, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland, Tahiti, Taiwan, and USA. These included family members of the young musicians who have not seen each other in many, many months!

The feedback from audience members, young musicians and participating orchestras has been so positive! Robert Mahon, CEO and Conductor at Kiltra School of Music, Wexford said:

 “It was so great to have something to aim towards with our orchestra this year, let alone something so HUGE  – special mention to Smiler, he was so good, the perfect man for the role! The support of Allin and IAYO is crucial for music in Ireland, too.”

You can learn more about the Carnival of Orchestras here

Carnival of Orchestras flyer

We hope you enjoy as we celebrate our youth orchestras and keep the music going!

We are very thankful to the Arts Council for continuing to support us.