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Junior Cork Youth Orchestra

The Cork Junior Orchestra has come from humble beginnings, with a membership of 16 players (all strings) to a fully fledged orchestra in its own right. The Orchestra was first assembled in 1991 following a proposal of the then Chairman Mr Donal Curtin. The purpose of the Orchestra was to act as an academy for young players who would go on to audition for the CYO.

CYO trombone section

This is still largely the case. However, the Orchestra has grown in size and has attained a standard such that it has performed in Galway (2003), Tipperary (2005), and on three occasions in the National Concert Hall at the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras ‘Festival of Youth Orchestras’ (2002, 2004, 2008). The high standard of these performances and of the recordings made were testament to the high calibre of the young musicians.

The Orchestra has been conducted by Terry McCarthy since its inception. The members are taught and encouraged to cope with any new music presented to them. In a typical year, the Orchestra will sight-read up to five pieces per week of various standards and musical styles. After the preparatory period of the year's work, the JCYO focuses its attention on planning for its annual concert.

The Orchestra began with strings only, gradually adding woodwind and percussion, and most recently, brass sections. As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Junior Cork Youth Orchestra took to the stage for the first time with the Cork Youth Orchestra as well as an Orchestra of former members in April, 2008. The Junior Orchestra presented a pre-concert performance on the first floor foyer. The importance of the Junior Orchestra cannot be underestimated: it ensures that the CYO has access to a pool of young musicians who have gained valuable sight-reading experience, but more importantly, weekly orchestral training and playing in the various sections of an Orchestra.