ICO Youth | Irish Chamber Orchestra
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ICO Youth

Nurturing the next generation

ICO Youth (formerly known as Irish Chamber Orchestra Youth Orchestra/ ICOYO) is a youth orchestra providing aspiring musicians aged 11 to 18 with the support they need to grow.

ICO Youth has emerged from direct funding from the Creative Ireland Programme, part of the National Creativity Fund. It is entirely free of cost for children aged 11-18 years and focuses on orchestral participation and performance, as well as small chamber music groups, with individual lessons boosting confidence and skills.

It’s just that I like entertaining people, because it not only brings me joy by playing violin, but I can give other people joy by playing violin to them.

Sophia Kottesova, ICO Youth musician

ICO Youth 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, enabling them to perform and grow as musicians while at the same time, broaden access to arts and culture within local communities.

Students are regularly given the chance to perform and to take part in national and international events. In 2018, nine students from SOWS took part in the Sistema European Youth Orchestra summer camp, performing at London’s Royal Festival Hall and Bournmouth Symphony Hall with violinist Nicola Benedetti. Many former pupils have gone on to join orchestral groups, win medals in competitions, achieve high marks in RIAM exams, or study music at Junior Cert.

Meet ICO Youth

An interview with Sophia Kottesova, ICO Youth participant, and her mother.

Get Involved

Find out how you can support ICOYO.

If you have a budding young musician at home who is interested in becoming involved with our youth string orchestra, contact our Education Manager.

Irish Chamber Orchestra gratefully acknowledge our generous supporters.