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Irish Memory Orchestra Apprentice Scheme

February 201720th


Irish Memory Orchestra Apprentice Scheme

Irish Memory Orchestra Invites Applicants for Apprentice Scheme 2017

*Deadline for applications* March 8th

“The sound of the Irish Memory Orchestra lies somewhere between a big trad session, a modern classical orchestra, a jazz big band and an African rumba orchestra.”

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill with Irish Memory Orchestra Youtube link  here


Are you a talented, singer musician with an interest in traditional, classical and/or jazz music? Would you like the chance to perform with the 100 member Irish Memory Orchestra for three major concerts in Christchurch Dublin, Clare and Galway in October 2017? Would you like the chance to play with and learn from some of Ireland’s finest musicians?

Outstanding apprentices can win a Bill Whelan Scholarship and join the Irish Memory Orchestra for future concerts!

Application open to musicians with visual impairment.


The Irish Memory Orchestra – the only orchestra in the world which plays music exclusively from memory – is seeking applications for its Apprentice Scheme until Wednesday, March 8.

Memory Orchestra Artistic Director Dave Flynn says:

“When the musicians perform from memory, they know the music intimately. They have spent a long time learning it by heart, so they have really lived with the music in a way that isn’t the case with musicians who rely on sheet music”.

The scheme is part of a cross-genre orchestra course from 23rd-29th October 2017 which culminates in performances in Christchurch Cathedral Dublin, Galway and Clare.

The 2017 scheme includes an ambitious plan to develop a spectacular 100-piece orchestra for the world premiere of Dave Flynn’s latest work The Memory Symphony.

'The Memory Symphony' is the first ever symphony composed specifically to be performed without sheet music on stage and so is a world first.

It’s open to visually impaired musicians, who would ordinarily be excluded from orchestral music.

The scheme, from the Galway-based orchestra has the added incentive of Bill Whelan Scholarships and the title of ‘Apprentice of the Year’ available to outstanding applicants.

This innovative cross-genre orchestra training course was devised by the award-winning composer Dr Dave Flynn, a regular collaborator with Con Tempo Quartet, Crash Ensemble and RTÉ Concert and Irish Chamber Orchestras.

The orchestra, formerly the Clare Memory Orchestra, has combined the talents of some of Ireland’s leading traditional and classical musicians to create a distinctive new sound. These include Mick O’Brien (regular collaborator with Caomhin O’Raghailligh of The Gloaming), Adrian Hart (I Draw Slow), Jack Talty & Matt Berrill (Ensemble Eriu), Neil Yates (Robbie Williams, Alison Moyet) and many others. Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill performed with the Irish Memory Orchestra in 2014.

Nominated for an Allianz Business to Arts Award in 2014, the Orchestra’s Apprentice Scheme is aimed at advanced musicians of all ages and instruments (including voice) who perform traditional, classical and/or jazz music. Uniquely, apprentices do not need to be able to read sheet music to take part. That’s because the orchestra performs from memory.

Since the first apprentice scheme in 2013, more than 150 musicians, including some from the USA and Canada, have travelled to Ireland to perform alongside the Memory Orchestra, sharing the stage with world-class musicians including Galway’s Matthew Berrill, Liz Coleman and Peter Berrill.

Legendary Galway accordionist Máirtín O’Connor (Riverdance/Dé Danann) will be the special guest for performances in major venues in Clare, Galway and Dublin over the October Bank Holiday Weekend, from October 27-29.

■ For more details about the apprentice scheme go to or email

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