Celebrating Youth Orchestras on Sunday, 9 May 2021

Our 26th Festival of Youth Orchestras was due to be held on Saturday, 13 February 2021 but, unfortunately, we couldn’t have our usual get-together in the National Concert Hall.

At IAYO we really want to do something to celebrate with our members and the young players who are still cut off from their orchestras and friends. We and a number of our members are planning a country-wide celebration on Sunday, 9 May! Read on below for more details and how you and young musicians across Ireland can get involved!


Hope Springs Eternal

We have commissioned a new piece of music for the occasion, Hope Springs Eternal, by Vincent Kennedy. This music has been written for everyone of all levels to get involved and we want everyone to take part by recording themselves performing their part and sending it to us by Friday, 9 April 2021.

We have created a webpage for the event, iayo.ie/hopesprings, and here, musicians and teachers will find everything they need to take part including sheet music, helpful performance notes, and mp3s, so they can listen while they learn the music, a play-along click track for when they record their performance and a helpful guide on how to record at home!
We would love to have musicians from every youth orchestra across the country to take part so we would please ask that you share this information with your students and also with any music teachers so that they can tell their young musicians. For further information and all the details, please see iayo.ie/hopesprings.


Carnival of Junior Orchestras

Roll up, roll up! Come join a wonderful selection of youth orchestras as they perform in the online Carnival of Junior Orchestras!

On Sunday, 9 May 2021 at 6pm there will be a very special online concert featuring the brilliant young musicians from orchestras across Ireland including Donegal Junior Strings, Kilkenny Junior Ensemble, St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music & the Arts Junior Strings, and Waterford Junior Strings to name just a few!

This very special, circus-themed performance will see the orchestras performing repertoire such as The Tiger Who Came to Tea, St Anthony Chorale by Haydn and Óro Mo Bhaidín, and will feature jokes, stories and even a Pet Parade where some orchestra members will be able to introduce us to their furry friends!

Audiences will be able to join in from anywhere in the world on Zoom which will give the young people the opportunity to see, perhaps, some family members that they have not otherwise been able to meet due to restrictions.


Online Takeover

As part of this countrywide, youth orchestra celebration, we want to feature and showcase our members and their work since March 2020 through our social channels and make a bit of noise about youth orchestras beyond our community – like we always do in February and let 2021 be no different in that respect!

Please consider what you have in terms of audio and video (and anything else) that might be good for us to spotlight your orchestra. Think of it as a celebration of how people have kept things going!

So save the date and we will bring you more concrete details soon. We would also appreciate it if you could start thinking about any musicians you think would enjoy and benefit from taking part in any of the projects.