Orchestras and Repertoire

Junior Cork Youth Orchestra - JCYO

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.

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.

Cork Youth Orchestra - CYO

Cork Youth Orchestra is a gem in the cultural fabric of Cork and Ireland. Founded in 1958, CYO is the oldest youth orchestra in Ireland. Despite being in existence for half a century, the orchestra has had only three conductors until now: Michael O'Callaghan, Conor O'Ceallacháin and Tomás McCarthy.

The CYO undertook its first tour to Wales in 1998 with musical director, Conor O'Ceallacháin. After Conor's retirement in 1998, Tomás McCarthy was appointed to the position of musical director/conductor. Under Tomás, CYO was invited to perform at the European Festival of Youth Orchestras in Italy, 2002. In beautiful Florence, the orchestra played Shaun Davey’s ‘Brendan Voyage’ with soloist Flaithri Neff (Uilleann Pipes).

In recent years, CYO has worked on varied projects, ranging from performances in major concert halls, live R.T.E. radio broadcasts, recordings and benefit concerts, all of which have have incorporated wide-ranging programmes. CYO toured the Czech Republic in 2004 with soloist Mark O’Keeffe (principal trumpet with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra) who performed the Arutjunjan Trumpet Concerto.

In 2005 the orchestra had the pleasure of working and performing with the members of the Ulster Orchestra under principal guest conductor, Takuo Yuasa, in Cork City Hall. The Orchestra's most ambitious project to date afforded our young musicians the rare opportunity of inviting Sir James Galway to Cork as their guest soloist on December 1st, 2005, as part of the closing sequence of "Cork 2005".

The orchestra has continuously adapted to suit the ever increasing and varied performance opportunities that have presented themselves, including particpation in two European Festivals of Youth Orchestras in Italy in front of capacity audiences. The orchestra is an equal opportunities organization and provides access to the arts for the whole of Cork City and County.

Apart from having had the pleasure of working with some of Ireland’s finest soloists over many years, CYO also benefits greatly from the wealth of talented and renowned music teachers who contribute so actively to the musical development of our young players. All Youth Orchestra projects are possible only through the tremendous and dedicated voluntary work of the parents and generous sponsorhip received.

CYO musical repertoire

A policy of purchasing, rather than hiring, music has resulted in a substantial and valuable music library which is available to the CYO for performances. The music library allows the CYO to work on up to thirty works per year and provides a wide repertoire for our young musicians.
Works we have presented

Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No.1 Festival Overture Op.96
Shostakovich: Romance, from The Gadfly Suite
Shostakovich: Barrel Organ Waltz 7, from The Gadfly Suite
Malcolm Arnold: Peterloo
Khachaturian: Lezghinka, from “Gayaneh”
Holst: The Planets
Holst: Somerset Rhapsody Op.21
Max Bruch: Romance for Viola Op. 85
J.Massenet: Meditation from ‘Thaïs’
V. Monti: Czardas
G. Rossini: Overture ‘The Thieving Magpie’
Saint Saens: Introduction & Rondo Capriccio Op. 28
Vaughan Williams: English Folk Songs Suite
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto
Edvard Grieg: Norwegian Dances Op. 3
Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 3 in E b. K.V.44
Shaun Davey: The Brendan Voyage
Georges Bizet: L’Arlésienne, Suite No.1 & No.2
Georges Bizet: Carmen Suite Nos.1 & 2
A. Arutjunjan: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra
H. Berlioz: March from ‘The Damnation of Faust’
L. Anderson: various show and film themes

Works commissioned and first performed by CYO:

‘Aisling’, composed by Dr Declan Townsend (conducted by Tomás McCarthy)
Commissioned to celebrate 40th anniversary of the CYO in 1998

‘In Memoriam 3-11-04’, composed by Angel Climent (conducted by Tomás McCarthy)
Commissioned for the tour to the Czech Republic in 2004

‘Partholon’, composed by Flaithrí Neff and orchestrated by Peadear Townsend (conducted by Tomás McCarthy)
Commissioned to celebrate 50th anniversary of the CYO, 2008-’09. Funded by Cork County Council.

‘Illusions’, composed by Keith O'Donoghue & Ciarán O'Connaill, both members of CYO.

Soloists with whom we have performed:

Mary Hegarty, Soprano
Cara O'Sullivan, Soprano
Majella Cullagh, Soprano
Nyle Wolfe
Sir James Galway, Flute
Rebecca Capova, Piano
Sarah Sexton, Violin
Wendy Dwyer, Soprano
Joe Corbett, Baritone
Breiffni Horgan, Tenor
Ioana Petcu, Violin
Michelle Fleming, Violin
Eoin Schmidt Martin, Viola
Julia O'Riardan, Violin
Anna O'Riordan, Violin
Hugh Murray, Violin
Seán Clinch, French Horn
Mark O'Keeffe, Trumpet
Julie O'Sullivan, Soprano
Eoin Leahy, Tenor
Holly McConnell, Violin

© Cork Youth Orchestras CLG. 2024
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram