Auditions for Irish Memory Orchestra

Auditions for Irish Memory Orchestra


Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra is inviting applications from musicians aged 10 – 24 to participate in the 2021/22 IMO Youth Orchestra & Choir programme: ‘Vision and Memory’.

This new cross-genre orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Young Ensemble Scheme and will meet in Galway City from 12th-16th April 2022.

Following an audition process, a large number young full-sighted, blind and visually-impaired instrumentalists and singers will be selected to rehearse and perform alongside core members of the Irish Memory Orchestra and professional blind and visually-impaired musicians.

Together they will work towards a performance of Dave Flynn’s groundbreaking work, The Vision Symphony, in Galway on Easter Saturday, 16th April 2022. The performance will be conducted by Bjorn Bantock and will also include the world premiere of a new collaborative work composed by young blind/visually-impaired composers.

All of the musicians involved in the programme will perform from memory. Without the need for sheet music, the notion of disability recedes and enables each member of the orchestra to contribute equally. The most outstanding applicants will be selected as Youth Orchestra section leaders, and will work alongside professional members of the Irish Memory Orchestra to mentor their section. For all of the young participants, the experience of working with acclaimed musicians from diverse musical backgrounds promises to be an unforgettable creative experience.

Applications are welcome from instrumentalists and singers aged 10-24 who are of intermediate to advanced ability and born or resident in Ireland. All instruments and vocal styles will be considered. Musicians who have a high level of ability in traditional Irish music, classical music and/or jazz will be prioritised.

There are no tuition fees in 2021/22 and there will be several travel and accommodation scholarships available for blind and vision-impaired musicians/singers. An audition fee of €12 applies. For further information on how to apply, visit here.

Flynn’s craft in combining traditional and contemporary music elements is always something to appreciate, but here he achieved more; he has broken down boundaries for people with sight loss.” The Journal of Music

“I made loads of new friends from different counties and it was really cool to play the fusion of styles of music.”  Mary Duggan, 18 year old previous IMO apprentice orchestra participant

“The highlights were to really learn this music off by heart and finally perform it publicly in a very professional manner in great venues. When the last concert was over I cried because I was sad that it was all over. I would really love to do it again.” Freddie Ní Almhain, 10 year old previous IMO apprentice orchestra participant.


Irish Memory Orchestra

Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra is the first and only orchestra in the Western world to play exclusively by memory. Performing by heart and straight from the heart, it has wowed audiences across the globe with its ground-breaking and inclusive approach to music-making. Bringing together the finest classical, traditional and jazz musicians, its blend of ancient Celtic instruments, orchestral strings, winds, brass, guitars and a jazz-tinged rhythm section, has redefined orchestral music.

Led by founder and artistic director Dave Flynn, conductor Bjorn Bantock and orchestra leader Niamh Varian-Barry, the Irish Memory Orchestra is committed to providing rewarding professional, cultural and educational experiences for diverse musicians and audiences. In 2019, the Irish Memory Orchestra was joined by 26 blind/vision-impaired musicians for the critically acclaimed world premiere of Dave Flynn’s The Vision Symphony in glór, Ennis.