Tomás McCarthy studied violin with Florence Pedder and Michael McNamara, trombone with Billy McCarthy and viola with John Vallery in the Cork School of Music. He also undertook European Suzuki Association teacher training with Philippa Lees. Tomás began conducting in 1981 and has since specialized in conducting young instrumentalists in the Cork School of Music, the Cork Youth Orchestra, and at orchestral courses in Dublin and Galway.
Tomás teaches at Orchestral Workshops in Scotland on a regular basis. He has also been a guest conductor of the Cork Symphony Orchestra. Tomás is involved nationally in many Suzuki workshops and community music schemes. As a violist he has played with the R.T.E. Orchestras and is a founder member of the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra and Cork Chamber Orchestra. He is a Lecturer and Conductor at the Cork School of Music where he teaches viola and violin. Tomas holds an M.A. in conducting. Tomas has been Conductor / Musical Director of CYO since 1998 but has conducted the orchestra on many previous occasions since 1985.
Tomás has been associated with CYO since 1976 and has been part of the management team for the last 22 years. He is currently a director of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras. Tomás conducted CYO in two, live full-length R.T.E. radio broadcasts hosted by Marian Finucane and John Creedon on their Christmas Shows. In July 2002 and 2007 Tomás conducted the CYO at the European International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Italy featuring the ’Brendan Voyage’ with soloist Flaithri Neff, and toured with CYO to the Czech Republic with soloist Mark O'Keeffe, principal trumpet B.B.C. Scottish Symphony Orchestra in July 2004. In 2005, Tomás was instrumental in inviting Sir James Galway to perform in Cork with the CYO during the 'Cork 2005' festivities.