Countless numbers of young Cork musicians have been under the baton of Cork husband and wife team Tomás and Terry McCarthy over the decades. Tomás is Musical Director and Chairman of the Cork Youth Orchestra, which caters for 12 to 19 year olds, and his wife Terry conducts the Junior Cork Youth Orchestra with members from 11 to 15 years of age. They have been presented with Cork Persons of the Month awards to mark their work.
Tomás McCarthy is a lecturer and conductor at the CIT Cork School of Music and his association with the Cork Youth Orchestra goes back some 40 years. Terry McCarthy has been the Conductor of the Junior Cork Youth Orchestra since its foundation in 1991. She is also an accomplished pianist and a Primary school teacher in St. Mark's Boys National School in The Glen.
The Cork Youth Orchestra is a gem in the cultural fabric of Cork. The McCarthys' roles involve many hours of project planning, preparation and rehearsals every week and weekend for hundreds of young musicians in five orchestras. The Cork Youth Orchestra was established in 1958 and Tomás is only its third conductor since its formation. Under Tomás's leadership, the orchestras have presented many benefit concerts for a long list of Cork charities, they showcase the talents of some of Ireland's finest young musicians in concert halls throughout Ireland and abroad, and have brought many visiting singers and musicians such as Michael Ball, Hayley Westenra, James Galway and Colm Wilkinson to Cork. This summer, under the baton of Tomás, the CYO Board brought 120 players to Italy to represent Cork and Ireland at the European Festival of Youth Orchestras, playing to audiences of over 3,000 with their performance of 'Reflections of Ireland 2016'.
The Junior Cork Youth Orchestra and Conductor Terry McCarthy celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year with a sell out concert in the Everyman Palace Theatre. The orchestra has come a long way from its humble beginnings of 18 players to a full orchestra of 60-70 members today. Terry has brought the JCYO to a standard capable of national performances and they have played in the National Concert Hall on four occasions since 2002.
Terry and Tomás's names will now also go forward, with the other Persons of Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 20th (2017) next. Award Judges will be the Chief Executives of Cork City Council and Cork County Council. Some 250 invited guests will attend this lunch representing all sectors of Cork society.