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National Youth Orchestra of Ireland Winter Course 2010 / 2011 NYOI, 27TH DECEMBER – 2ND JANUARY

Thankfully the “big thaw” happened just in time to allow 91 young musicians, 14 tutors, 7 staff members and one conductor to arrive safely at the NYOI winter course on Monday 27th December. During the first two days the orchestra was gradually built from individual instrumental sectionals to wind, brass and string tuttis. Everyone looks forward to the third day of the course when the orchestra comes together for the first tutti with Gearóid Grant. But the hard work doesn’t stop there with four more days of intense rehearsals in preparation for the concert. After a huge team effort to pack up equipment, the orchestra travelled to Dublin early on Sunday 2nd January for a final dress rehearsal and the first NYOI concert of 2011. With over 750 people at the concert in the Helix, the atmosphere was electric and the orchestra performed selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Symphony No. 5 with incredible musicality and powerful expression.

NYOI TRAINING PROGRAMME, 28TH DECEMBER – 29TH DECEMBER

Over 50 young musicians were invited to take part in the new NYOI Training Programme. Selected at NYOI Auditions, the chosen young musicians showed great potential and were coached by NYOI tutors in 6 groups: strings, flutes, clarinets, oboes, brass and percussion. Participants enjoyed 3 sessions of workshops interspersed with special access to NYOI rehearsals, social activities with NYOI and a fantastic concert showcasing their work for friends and family on Wednesday 29th December at Kilkenny College. Participants were also offered a free ticket to the NYOI concert on Sunday 2nd January and it was brilliant to see so many of them at the concert.

Website: www.iayo.ie

The NEW www.nyoi.ie will be launched in January 2011. See all the behind the scenes action from the NYOI winter course on our video blog @ http://nationalyouthorchestraofireland.blogspot.com

Email: info@iayo.ie

Fax: +353 21 421 5193 Telephone: +353 21 421 5185

Civic Trust House, 50 Pope’s Quay, Cork, Ireland.

IAYO Limited

The courses and concerts certainly started NYOI’s 2011 on a high note and there is more excitement to come with a St Patrick’s Day tour of the United Arab Emirates and Garry Walker guest conducting in summer 2011.

Preparations are well underway for the 16th Festival of Youth Orchestras at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 12th February, including the completion of the new composition for the players of Greystones Youth Orchestra and the Newpark School of Music String Orchestra. Deep End by Roger Doyle is a tribute to the young players’ willingness to dive in at the deep end with a new piece of music. Raymond Deane’s A Baroque Season will be premiered in the

evening performance by Young European Strings while Coole Music Youth Orchestra will premiere The Adventure Suite by Katharina Baker, who has written many pieces for junior orchestra and chamber ensembles. Both the orchestras of Sligo Academy of Music will play, celebrating the tenth year of the music school and Liffey Valley Orchestra and Fingal County Youth Orchestra will both celebrate important anniversaries this year. Finishing the evening performance will be the newly formed RIAM Symphonic Wind Ensemble with guest conductors from the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. Tickets are available from the National Concert Hall on 01 417 0000 or at www.nch.ie.


Welcome to the delayed December issue of Newsnotes. Best wishes from all at IAYO for 2011.

There has been much to-do in the country since our last issue in September. The speculation preceding the government’s launch of the four year National Recovery Plan, the IMF, the budget and the announcement of a general election have dominated the news and created much anxiety throughout the country. However, youth orchestras and youth music seem to be holding their own through the tough times and instrument makers and sellers tell us that their businesses are generally going well, which hopefully means that parents and young people are keeping up their investment of time and money in their music while other things are being cut. One thing that there seems to be less of at the moment is tours abroad by orchestras. However, there are plenty of opportunities for exchanges and collaborations closer to home. We would like to see if the Causeway Youth Exchange programme would be suitable for exchange programmes between Ireland and the UK. If anyone has exchange partners in the UK, we would happily get involved in an application process to test its suitability. Also, we are happy to support youth orchestras in applying for other funding that is available. There are possibilities for funding for commissions and working with composers and other music projects through The Arts Council later in this issue that could make interesting projects for orchestras. If orchestras are looking for collaborations closer to home, contact the office and we will try to supply lists of suitable orchestras and contact details and can carry notices here in Newsnotes and on the web site.

Finally, just a short notice that we will be making an announcement regarding the Youth Orchestra Achievement Awards in the coming days. Our funding situation is stable, thanks to the support of The Arts Council but the lack of sponsorship for the Festival this year means that a restructuring of the awards is likely. We look forward to meeting you all at the Festival on 12 February.

Allin Gray, Director

Funding Success!

Congratulations to Carlow Youth Orchestra, Clare Music Makers and St Canice’s NS Orchestra, all of whom received funding for instruments under the Music Network / Arts Council Music Capital Scheme. The Coole Music Orchestra Festival has also received funding this year under the Arts Council Small Festivals Scheme. The Festival takes place this year on Sunday 6th March with orchestras taking part from Galway, Sligo, Clare and Laois. More information will be available soon at www.coole-music.com

love:live music 2011 Call for Participants

Following a successful first year, Music Network would like to encourage everyone to get involved on Friday 08 April 2011 for the day long festivities celebrating live music in Ireland. love:live music / National Music Day is a celebration of all forms of music in Ireland though nationwide music events. Find out if others in your area are interested in participating and come together for a whole village/town/city event! Was your county represented for the 2010 event? If not, make sure you’re on the map in 2011! For more information contact Aisling Ryan on 01 6719429 or email info@lovelivemusic.ie.

Youth Arts Works

group of youth arts A organisations, led by the National Youth Council of Ireland presented an arts showcase to TD’s in late October. The emergency debate in the Dáil on the economy, called at short notice, had the unfortunate effect of reducing the number of TDs in attendance. However, several prominent Dáil members did attend the showcase which had performances by Aspiro Youth Choir (Carlow), Dublin Youth Dance Company, players from Kylemore College Orchestra and a film presentation from the Carlow Youth Theatre. Other organisations represented were KidsOwn Publishing from Sligo, Axis Arts Centre in Ballymun, the National Association of Youth Drama, Children’s Books Ireland, Young Irish Filmmakers and IAYO. The showcase was followed up by a presentation to the Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Sport, Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs in the Oireachtas in November. These groups will continue to work together in 2011 to promote the value of the arts for young people.

Free Scores and Parts Available from Kilkenny Youth Orchestra

Philip Edmonson at Kilkenny School of Music has arranged music for the Kilkenny Youth Orchestra by composers such as Berlioz, Borodin, Dvorak, Grieg, Handel, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Scores and parts are written using 'Sibelius' software. Scoring is usually Fl, Cl, Fr H, Trpt, Perc & Strings. String parts range from Grade 3 to Grade 6,7. Copies of scores and parts are all available for free. Contact kilkennyschoolofmusic@gmail.com for more information.


NYOI 40th Anniversary Reunion BRÍD CANNON,

EX-NYOI PLAYER AND CURRENT

IAYO TOOK PART IN THE NYOI 40TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION CONCERT IN OCTOBER . . . BOARD MEMBER OF

One could be forgiven for thinking that the blanket of snow around the National Concert Hall on the weekend of November 27th-28th 2010 would have put a stop to any activities. But, this weekend, hail, rain or snow was no object. This was a very special time for anyone ever involved in the youth orchestra movement in Ireland, for it was the 40th Anniversary Gala Concert of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, celebrating all 40 years of its existence.

Via facebook, email, websites and other means, the NYOI had brought together the orchestra again, reuniting those from the very first course 40 years ago with more recent members. For some, it was a chance to dust down the instrument and become reacquainted with staves, key signatures and barlines; and for others, it was an opportunity to return to the orchestra from which they had launched their careers. However, all had a common purpose; to unite in harmony and play as an ensemble under the baton of Gearóid Grant once more to play Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony No. 9.

The first, few hesitant bars echoed around the National Concert Hall at 10am on the Saturday morning; the ice broken, the rehearsals continued throughout the day until it was time to return home and prepare for the reunion party that evening. There was an audible air of relief at the end of the afternoon when it became clear that the group of musicians on stage was not only playing together very well, but also very comfortable with the idea of presenting a full scale work the next day with only a few hours left in which to perfect it. And then came the concert on Sunday evening, compered by Evelyn Grant. The first half showcased various ensembles. The X-NYOI Wind and Brass conducted by Fergus O’Carroll opened the evening on a very lively note; followed by Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto in three and a half minutes – a condensed work with a

ACC Orchestral Recital

Athlone Community College presented ‘A Celebration of Orchestral Music’, celebrating six years of strings and launching a ‘New Woodwind and Brass Ensemble’ in Association with Westmeath VEC and Westmeath County Council. The orchestra programme at Athlone Community College is sponsored by Westmeath VEC County Music Scheme and Westmeath County Council Artist in Residency Programme. Guests included Mr. Val O’Connor, CEO and Shane Brennan, VEC Arts Education Organiser. The 30 strong orchestra under the baton of Natalia Gorovenco (strings) and Kim Magee (woodwind and brass) performed pieces from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and Harry Potter, ‘Hedwigs Theme’. Spanish students also performed as a recorder ensemble and featured on clarinet and Spanish guitar. The audience was treated to a piano Sonata by Beethoven, performed by Adian Mannion. The woodwind and brass ensemble gave a rendition of four pieces including ‘Conquering Hero’ and ‘Lightly Row’. The orchestral recital was immensely enjoyed by special guests, parents, teachers and First Year students alike.

condensed group which saw the page turner take over from the pianist at the very end!!!!! Following this came the X-NYOI strings, made up of members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, playing Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”; and then Ensemble Avolon, made up of Ioana Petcu Colan, Gerald Peregrine and Michael McHale who are now the ensemble in residence in Trinity College Dublin. The audience was also allowed to participate when a specially formed Samba band, injected great rhythm and energy into the hall and lead seamlessly into the second half where the main orchestra then took to the stage. As the orchestra began to play, it was clear that the hard work had paid off. The ensemble had only been together since the previous morning; yet everyone played as one. The energy and enthusiasm was palpable and continued through each movement, culminating in the soaring climax of the final movement. The audience obviously felt the same, as bows were taken to a standing ovation.

It is fair to say that it is an evening that will remain embedded in memory for many wonderful reasons. The showcase of the professional ensembles highlighted the wonderful talent that is here in Ireland today, something of which we all can be very proud. The audience was fully engaged; from the comedic moments in the Tchaikovsky to the rhythmic lessons of the Samba band. The orchestra played with technical precision, heart and energy – without hesitation, fear or any sense of imbalance. And all of this achieved within one weekend. All this serves to remind us that the National Youth Orchestra is undoubtedly a national treasure. Many endured long waits in snowbound airports in order to be present on stage. The presence of the professional players was clear acknowledgement of the role that the orchestra played in providing a training for many careers. Not only did it launch musical careers, for others it was the forum through which they met their spouses! For all, at a very young age it instilled in every member a sense of discipline and desire to achieve which permeated into everything they then did in life. And for those of us that returned after many years, it reminded us that music is a universal language which transcends borders and beliefs, uniting all in harmony. Long may the National Youth Orchestra continue!

National Concert Hall Young Musicians’ Award 2011

This biannual award is now open for applications until Monday 31st January. It provides bursaries for young musicians up to a total of €10,000 towards the cost of instruments, tuition, travel cost faced by student musicians. The 2011 competition is open to string players only. Find details at www.nch.ie -> Learn and Explore -> Music Students and Musicians

Sligo Academy Of Music

10th Anniversary Gala Concert

8pm, Thursday 27th January 2011 at the Radisson Sas Hotel, Sligo.

It is 10 years since the Sligo Academy of Music first opened its doors and in January 2011 we are celebrating this milestone with a Spectacular Gala Concert in the Radisson SAS Hotel. SAM now boasts two orchestras, the Sinfonietta and the Junior Orchestras, who have played at various venues nationwide as well as in Prague in the Czech Republic. Both the Junior and Sinfonietta, whose ages range from 5 to 18, will be performing at this concert ahead of their performances in the National Concert Hall on 12th February.

Joining the SAM Orchestras will be many prestigious local performing groups including the Sligo Orpheus Choir, Sligo Concert Band and The County Sligo Golf Club Male Voice Choir all of whom have strong musical links with the Academy. The Programme will include a large variety of works to suit every musical taste.


A Short Guide to Promoting Your Youth Orchestra Here we have part one of the previously promised guide to promotions for youth orchestras. It may not seem to be a top priority when running a youth orchestra, but it will help with many things: • raising awareness of the orchestra among young musicians to assist recruitment • raising awareness of the orchestra and its activities to support other fundraising efforts

• gaining funding from local authorities, VECs and other sources. • providing a platform with which to thank sponsors and contributors • bringing new audiences to concerts and events

• finding new volunteers to help with managing the orchestra.

In application for a project that received an Organisational Achievement Award at the 2008 Festival of Youth Orchestras, Liffey Valley Orchestra described how they used the press as a means of recruiting new members to the orchestra. They felt that engaging with their local newspapers had been a great success in reaching their goals. The reach of the “Community Voice” - as many local papers are not well read and concentrate on advertising, the Secretary had been sceptical. But this north Dublin publication really came up trumps. We hope to get further exposure in it, and are currently preparing a feature on the Scottish Tour at the paper’s request

The growth of the internet in recent years means that many ways of promoting your orchestra to different audiences have become very cheap, with websites, email marketing software and social networking software all available online for use for free by anyone with the time and technical competence to use them. And those two things are often a big stumbling block for those involved in the organisation of youth orchestras. There is plenty of work to do without launching press and internet campaigns to promote the orchestra. It is extra voluntary work, but work that might be done by new volunteers who can’t, or don’t want to, contribute in more conventional ways.

Also, something that should be remembered is that orchestra organisers have access to lots of young people. These often do have both the time and technical competence to make good use of the available technology. Getting young players to help with the initial set-up of web sites, Facebook pages and email lists is definitely of benefit. Being a publicist for a year might also be an interesting and rewarding transition year project for one of the young players in your orchestra. All the resources here are free, provided you have a computer with internet (preferably broadband) but do remember that each one of them is a project and a new set of skills to be learned. Spread the work around to get the best effect. In the next issue, we will talk about communicating with the press and getting those youth orchestra pictures circulated in your neighbourhood and beyond.

Allin Gray

Free Tools to Design Your Free Website and Emails

Being able to use these free tools to communicate with current and prospective players, sponsors and audience is great. For those who have an artistic bent and want to take on the designing by themselves or introduce others suitably talented to the idea, the cost of purchasing necessary software can be rather steep. However,

Social Networks

Social networking sites are currently the stars of the marketing world with Facebook undoubtedly the king of them all. They are a great way to keep people up to date with what the orchestra is up to. Your young instrumentalists and music teachers are likely to know how all this works, being able to set up group pages, events and announcements. However, although many young people are accessing these sites at a younger age, the content that they encounter may not always be suitable to be endorsed by those in the position of managing a youth orchestra. It is recommended that you read ‘Safe Social Networking’, published by Youth Work Ireland. You can download a copy on the IAYO website under Information -> Child Protection and Welfare.

Getting Feedback

Knowing what people think about your orchestra is always a good thing, and who better to tell you than the players, their parents and the audience. At IAYO, we have found that short online surveys that give people a chance to say what they think have been very useful in improving courses and events and finding out what are the issues faced by member organisations. Especially when it comes to young people, the response rate for online surveys are far higher than giving out paper questionnaires, and some of them take the time to write in detail about their experiences. Two free tools that allow you to do this are Survey Monkey at www.surveymonkey.com and Google Forms, which come as part of the Google Docs suite. Both allow you to make up questionnaires and publish them on the internet. You then send a link to the people you would like to survey and wait for the results to come in. For us, Google Docs Forms have the advantage that information is stored in spreadsheets and downloaded, mail-merged etc., whereas Survey Monkey only allows such downloads with paid accounts.

free software is on hand that is usually close enough in functionality to the currently available commercial software. For graphic design (similar to Illustrator, find Inkscape at www.inkscape.org and for photo manipulation, try GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Programme) at www.gimp.org. If you’re working on an Apple Mac, you will need to install ‘X11’ to use these programmes. As the IAYO office runs on Macs, give us a call and we will help you get up and running.


A Web Site for Your Orchestra

Many youth orchestras have their own web sites up and running already, sometimes at great expense, and sometimes not. There are plenty of cheap and free options for getting online at the moment, although many of them will carry advertising of some sort or other on the sites created.

For fully customisable, but free or very cheap, two of the better options are Google Sites and Windows Live. Both offer a free website with various design options and a variety of contents that can be included.Windows Live has the advantage of making nice looking designs with very little effort, although what you can do is more restricted than with Google Sites. The latter, on the other hand, is harder to make look nice but with a bit of effort and some design skill can make a much better web site. As usual with Google, there are plenty of helpful how-tos and videos available on the internet to show you how to do things. If you are artistically inclined, or have some young players that are, it can make a very nice site.

www.yourname.com

One thing that will help if you have a website is an easily rememberable web site address. www.ourorchestra.ie is much easier to remember than http://sites.google.com/site/ourorchestra. On free web services, this is usually called a ‘custom domain name’. For services that allow you to use a custom domain name, you can buy a .com , .org or .net at any registrar on the web. For a .ie address, you need to buy through an Irish based registrar and show that you have a right to the web address. Some Irish registrars are blacknight.com, register.ie and register365.com. There will usually be instructions with your free service on how to set up a custom domain. If they don’t apply to your particular registrar, just contact the support desk at your registrar and they will help you out. Blogs

Blogging is also a good way to get yourself on the internet, although it should be said that if you want a web site, a blog is generally not it. Blogs organise content by when it was posted, what categories content is in or what tags are applied.This is great if what you want is for people to follow the latest news and be able to browse through older news, but not suitable if you want control over the structure of your web site.The also make it easy to upload audio and video footage and photographs.Wordpress and Blogger are two of the most popular blogging platforms. Find them at www.wordpress.com and www.blogger.com.

And let’s not forget sharing video, photographs and audio files over the internet. You probably already have video editing software - Microsoft Movie Maker on PC or iMovie on Mac. Get audio editing software free at audacity.sourceforge.net

Emailing Lists

Email is a great way to stay in contact with your players, their parents, your audience, sponsors and others.

Now you can have a fully functional email marketing tool for free through MailChimp at www.mailchimp.com.

MailChimp Operates on a ‘Freemium’ model - you can use a certain amount of features and volume for free and choose to pay if you want extra. However, with free emails to up to 1,000 people and the ability to send up to 6,000 emails a month at no cost, the free service will be more than adequate for most youth orchestras. The only requirement for the free service is that you include a MailChimp logo at the bottom of your emails. You can use the pre-defined templates for sending email, entering your own logo or header, or you can design an email newsletter template that matches your website, newsletter and concert programmes. Managing lists is easy with a range of sign-up forms that can be embedded in or linked to from your website. You can provide users with the option to sign-up or unsubscribe for themselves with no work for yourself. Deliverability is one of the key points to keep in mind

(no www) . Share video at www.youtube.com and www.vimeo.com. Share photos at flickr.com or picasa.com. Guidelines from The Arts Council on the use of images of children can be found on www.iayo.ie under Child Protection.

when sending email circulars. Your emails can be blocked by own email your server (GMail, Yahoo etc.) before they your leave even outbox. There are also a whole host of reasons why your email might not make it to all, or any, of your intended recipients. Email marketing software, like Mail Chimp, monitors such activity and will let you know if your emails are getting caught by spam filters and will also let you know if recipients are clicking the ‘Report Spam’ or similar buttons in their email. Mailchimp includes a whole suite of ‘How-to’ videos and has weekly ‘webinars’ to help you get up and running.

There is just one golden rule with email marketing Don’t Spam. If there are too many reports of people clicking the ‘Report Spam’ button, your account will be suspended. Closer to home, you don’t want your supporters ignoring your emails because you send too much too often.


The Arts Council have announced the closing dates for funding schemes in 2011.

In most cases, the contact in The Arts Council for youth orchestras and young musicians is the YPCE Department (Young People, Children and Education). You should contact Gaye Tanham, Head of YPCE on 01 618 0265 before embarking on an application procedure.

Please note that most applications for Arts Council funding must now be submitted on-line. You will need to allow time for the set-up of your account before submitting an application.

Feel free to call the IAYO office if you would like to discuss any applications. We are happy to work with you on your applications, proof them and offer suggestions. Of note for youth orchestras are the following schemes in 2011:

Young Ensembles Scheme: The Young Ensembles Scheme is one of a number of funding opportunities offered by the Arts Council to support and develop the arts in Ireland. It derives from the Arts Council’s commitment, as expressed in Partnership for the Arts, to ‘create better opportunities for young people to experience the arts’ and ‘to implement a new programme to support youth ensembles and national youth arts resource organisations’. The closing date for this scheme is 29 April 2011. Find more details at www.artscouncil.ie. YPCE Bursary Award: The Young People, Children, and Education Bursary Award supports individual professional artists working with, and producing work for, children and young people across a range of artforms. The purpose of the award is to support professional artists to develop their art practice. The closing date for this award is 14 July 2011. Find out more at www.artscouncil.ie.

Travel & Training Award: There are two strands to this award: Travel and Training Outbound to support individuals who wish to avail of training and other professional development opportunities abroad; and Travel and Training Inbound to support individuals or organisations who wish to invite specialists from abroad to deliver high-level training or mentoring. Applications for this scheme are open on an ongoing basis. However, it is recommended to apply as early in the year as you can. Find out more at www.artscouncil.ie.

Small Arts Festivals Scheme: The Small Arts Festivals Scheme is designed in the main to support and provide opportunities for small arts festivals or events seeking funding of up to €20,000.

The closing date for this scheme is 11 February 2011. Find more details at www.artscouncil.ie.

Music Commissions Award: The Music Commissions Award is focused on partnerships. The primary purpose of this award is to facilitate partnerships between commissioners and artists that result in some form of creative output. The closing date for this scheme is 3 March 2011. Find more details at www.artscouncil.ie.

Music Project Award: Supports projects in the field of music commencing in 2011.

The closing date for this scheme is 31 March 2011. Find more details at www.artscouncil.ie.

Irish Youth Wind Ensemble

Funding Schemes Announced by The Arts Council for 2011

14-21 August 2011 Director

Ronan O’Reilly

Application Forms online at www.iywe.ie Further information e: info@iywe.ie t: 021 421 5185

Application closing date: Friday 11 March 2011. Applicants must be aged between 16 and 25 and must have a minimum of Grade 6 standard.


ConCorda 2010 Reviews

I have been attending ConCorda Chamber Music course since 2007, and as recently as August this year of 2010. As a violinist, ConCorda has definitely been the best music course I have attended. First of all the great tutoring you get from the amazing musicians is invaluable and helps me no end with my playing. The helpful atmosphere which the course creates allows the students to ask the tutors for help whenever they need and they are always on hand. There is always just the right balance between rehearsals and free time in which to practice or just take a break from playing which is just as important. The course is always structured to suit every type of player and offers all the different players the opportunities and challenges to meet their needs.

Down through the years there have always been music courses for orchestras and ensembles, some of which I have been lucky to attend. Yet ConCorda offers the chance to engage in chamber music to the same degree. Until ConCorda I had never experienced chamber music before and I absolutely loved it and still do because of the course. I plan on attending the course if I can for many years to come as it is such a fun, enjoyable and helpful course. I have improved immensely from playing at ConCorda and also made some excellent friends both of which are testament to why I believe it should continue for many years to come. Kieran Gleeson

I first came to ConCorda four years ago and was quickly adopted into the family. Before I came, I thought it was going to be yet

another music course but I cannot even begin to express how wrong I was. Everything wasn’t about playing music, it was about the love we all share for the music. I found myself being drawn into this world where everyone was on the same level. We all learned so much from our tutors and their experiences, many of these we learned from our founder, the most hilarious and honourable man I’ve ever met, Mr Hugh Maguire.

I came back the next year, and again, and again, and although people come and go and tutors and staff come and go, the spirit remains the same. The inspirations, the memories, the ups, never any downs, they remain the same, if not better every year I come. And I’m proud to say that this place almost feels like a second home. Concorda doesn’t just concentrate on music from a certain period, we improvise and add our own personal twist to it in a class which we look forward to everyday. Musical Theatre, ‘’Goggs’’, as we band camps kids like to call it. For me, to be able to create a wordless play using only your instrument to convey emotions and drama is mesmerising, and I feel very grateful to be given such a great opportunity This course is truly one of its kind. The people you meet here and experiences and memories you share with them, whether it be the excitement of a Cork v Dublin semi final or precious moments with friends outside the Castalia hall. These memories will stay with me for a very long time. And in the words of a fellow course member ‘How long?... Tooo Long!’

I’m honoured to have the chance to come back here every year. To live and learn the music which brings us all together. And I am very happy to be part of the Concorda family. Meadhbh Lynch.

More news and more detail at www.iayo.ie/newsnotes


Tánaiste announces restructuring of Vocational Education Committees

In October 2010, the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan, announced that the Government had agreed a restructuring of the Vocational Education Committee system, involving a reduction in the number of VECs from 33 to 16 through the merger of existing VECs.

Announcing the decision, the Tánaiste said: "This decision is part of the overall Government agenda to transform how our public services are delivered. This consolidation ensures that each of the 16 VECs will be organisations of sufficient scale to support the evolution of local education service delivery and to meet future challenges”. The Tánaiste also highlighted the additional future role of VECs locally in the provision of primary education through Community National Schools.

For youth orchestras that are considering being part of a local music education partnership under the National Music Education Programme, this decision may well effect the structure of such partnerships and also supports which have been given by the existing VECs to youth orchestras and music education. There may also be new opportunities for collaboration between youth orchestras and music schools in neighbouring counties. Detail of the sixteen revised VEC areas are as follows: • County Dublin and Dun Laoghaire • City of Dublin

• City of Galway and County Galway

Revised Children First Guidelines: 2010

The Children First Guidelines were first issued by the Department of Health and Children in 1999. These guidelines outline procedures for strengthening arrangements for the protection of children and to assist people in identifying and reporting child abuse. While they do not have a statutory basis, the Children First Guidelines are national guidelines which should be applied consistently by the Health Service Executive, Government and organisations which deal with children and they are meant to provide best practice in dealing with children and young people. The guidelines are intended to help organisations to improve their policies, procedures and practices to safeguard children and young people. The revised guidelines were released in July 2010 and are not yet operational in the HSE. Your Local Health Office of the HSE can also provide information on local procedures and services aimed at the safety and welfare of children.

To download your copy, search Google for “Revised Children First Guidelines: 2010” or type the following in the address bar omc.gov.ie/documents/child_welfare_protection/Children_First_J uly_2010.pdf

The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement was developed as part of the International Year of Volunteers 2001 celebrations. In 2004, Volunteer Canada updated the Code in partnership with the Canadian Administrators of Volunteer Resources (CAVR). It is designed to present a setting in which organisations can discuss how their volunteers are engaged and supported.

• City of Cork

• County Cork

• City of Limerick, County Limerick and County Kerry • City of Waterford, County Waterford and Tipperary South Riding • Donegal

• Wexford and Wicklow

• Carlow, Kilkenny and Kildare

• Laois, Offaly and Westmeath • Louth and Meath

• Cavan and Monaghan • Mayo and Sligo

• Leitrim, Roscommon and Longford • Clare and Tipperary North Riding

The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement provides voluntary and not-for-profit organisations with a philosophical framework for involving volunteers at the governance, leadership and direct service levels. The Code outlines the values, principles, and standards for effective volunteer practices within organisations. It also includes the Organisation Standards Checklist, which will assist organisations to evaluate and improve their volunteer programs. To download a copy of the code, search for “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement” in Google. The document should be the top link. ( www.cavrcanada.org/_Library/Docs/CodeEng.pdf )

The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras is the all-Ireland resource organisation for youth orchestras. IAYO is grant-aided by The Arts Council and supported by Cork City Council.

55 jan2011