Isabel Ryan Receives Agnes O’Kane Award 2024

The Agnes O’Kane Award is presented annually to a volunteer who has contributed to the growth of youth orchestras in Ireland. The award recognises the vital contribution that volunteers have had in the growth of youth orchestras over the last thirty years.

The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras presented Isabel Ryan with the Agnes O’Kane Award at the 28th Festival of Youth Orchestras on Saturday, 10 February 2024. We congratulate Isabel on her win and her hard work over the years.

Isabel’s role in the music department at St Louis Primary School in Rathmines, Dublin has been nothing short of transformative. The St Louis Music Department has been highly regarded for many years, with students excelling and with a high calibre of staff. Isabel has managed the department, alongside Angela Dakin, and has yet to accept a cent for her work. She is at the school from 2:30pm until past 7:30pm, every day that there is teaching in the school, providing a welcoming presence for students and a supportive hand to teachers. She knows each and every student by name and is up to date on all students’ progress and any additional support either student or teacher may need.

As an orchestra manager, Isabel was manager of the Dublin Youth Orchestra Concert Orchestra for almost a decade and was involved behind the scenes for additional years. Colleagues and beneficiaries alike have praised her unique approach, highlighting her ability to turn any challenges into opportunities for growth.