Applications Open For IAYO’s Youth Orchestra Collaboration Grant Scheme

In 2024, IAYO is once again running our Youth Orchestra Collaboration Grant scheme to stimulate collaboration among youth orchestras in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (International collaborators can take part too).

Closing date for applications is Friday, 03 May 2024.

This scheme is in response to members asking for more regional festivals and collective performance opportunities beyond the annual IAYO Festival at the National Concert Hall. We feel that the creation of such opportunities is more feasible if led locally and supported by IAYO rather than run centrally by IAYO.

In 2024, this scheme once again replaces the Youth Orchestra Ovation Awards.

Applications are now open for 2024.

The 2022 and 2023 schemes were very successful with not only initial collaborations but also subsequent combined performances and activities and plans for the future. The 2023 recipients are Limerick School of Music Senior Orchestra (LSOM), Rockwell Music Academy, Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out With Strings and St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music and the Arts (CCMA) Chamber Orchestra. Read about the 2023 recipients and their collaborative projects here. Read about the 2022 recipients, Musica Fusion Community Orchestra and Athenry Music School.

The Youth Orchestra Collaboration Grant Scheme is aimed at:

  • increasing opportunities for Irish youth orchestras to perform with and for each other;
  • increasing opportunities for youth orchestras to work with each other collaboratively;
  • allowing young musicians from different orchestras to get to know each other and to play together;
  • creating activities and performances that are too big for just one orchestra;
  • growing and connecting the youth orchestra community.

We are open to any ideas of collaboration that bring young people from three or more orchestras together to rehearse and perform with, or for, each other and to get to know each other through music and related activities.

We are very happy to receive applications for activities that operate in a blended format in whatever form that might take – especially where it gives the young players opportunities to get to know each other and to work with each other.

We are very open to young people and youth orchestras collaborating in ways that we haven’t thought of yet. We will look particularly favourably on activities that have a high level of leadership by young people.

The total fund for the 2023 scheme is €10,000. This may be distributed to between two and four projects at between €2,500 and €5,000 each depending on the applications received.

Applications are open to youth orchestras in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland that are members of, or affiliated to members of, the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras.

What Sorts of Activities Will We Fund?

  • Shared concerts, small festivals, combined orchestras, shared artistic projects.
  • Blended activities including a mix of online and in-person activities.
  • Social and cultural exchange activities that allow players to get to know each other and develop the community of youth orchestras and young players.
  • Innovative activities that involve collaboration between orchestras and young musicians not contained in the above.

For further information, criteria and application details, please download the Grant Application Guidelines (.pdf and word).

How to Apply:

  • Please submit applications and accompanying materials by email to and using web links where appropriate.
  • Please submit a project outline of between one and three pages addressing the questions in Project Outline and the criteria given below in the section, Application Criteria.
  • Please submit a brief (less than one page) biography of each participating orchestra or ensemble and a paragraph about each of up-to three participating artists if you wish.
  • Please submit a budget outlining the main items of income and expenditure and how the Youth Orchestra Collaboration Grant will be used. Please specify how much money is being sought under the Collaboration Grant Scheme as part of the application.

We have put together a webpage of the contact details of members who want to make contact or be contacted for collaborations with other orchestras. We hope this will help for you find other youth orchestras to collaborate with.

If you would like your details to be added to this page, please do contact us at telling us:

  • Your orchestra name
  • Where you are in the country (if that’s not obvious from the name)
  • Age range of players in the orchestra
  • Size of orchestra and a little bit about the balance of instruments
  • When you might like to exchange and what you might like to do