The Irish Chamber Orchestra offers opportunities for children to enrich and empower their lives through collaboration, innovation and education. The newly established ICOYO has emerged from direct funding from the Creative Ireland Programme, part of a new National Creativity Fund. This new string orchestra is entirely free of cost for children aged 12-18 years. It focuses on orchestral participation and performance, as well as small chamber music groups with individual lessons boosting confidence and skills.

It utilises pop, trad, classical and world music styles and allows participants to engage with different string instruments. It explores improvisation, composition and conducting in a safe and creative space. The orchestra will convene on a weekly basis, supplemented by three Mid-Term Camps throughout the year, allowing students to work intensively, during holiday periods. This enables them to perform and grow as musicians while at the same time, broaden access to arts and culture within local communities.

The ICOYO aims for the highest standards of performance, putting a strong emphasis on friendship and fun through learning. The ICOYO requires a minimum of Grade 4 ABRSM standard (or equivalent). Students are required to bring their own instruments unless otherwise arranged with the ICO.

If you have a budding young musician at home who is interested in becoming involved with our youth string orchestra, please contact Kathrine Barnecutt on 083-363 6505 or

The ICO Youth Orchestra made its debut at St. Mary’s Cathedral (12 April 2019) as part of the Cathedral’s lunchtime series of concerts. ICO Leader Katherine Hunka made a special appearance with the ICOYO for a rendition of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango, which went down a treat.

Changing lives through music

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