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Laois School of Music Orchestra to Perform at the 23rd Annual Festival of Youth Orchestras.

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​On Saturday, 10 February 2018, 55 Young Musicians from County Laois will take to the stage of the National Concert Hall, Dublin, as part of the 23rd Annual ‘Festival of Youth Orchestras’, hosted by the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras (IAYO). Under the baton of renowned composer Elaine Agnew, whose works have been performed worldwide by artists including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and at major festivals including the BBC London Proms, the Laois School of Music Orchestra will perform ‘In My Back Garden’, a 20-minute suite of music written for them by Elaine.

The IAYO ‘Festival of Youth Orchestras’ is a non-competitive event that aims to give youth orchestras and their young players the opportunity to perform to the best of their ability on Ireland’s national stage. In addition to bringing together ensembles from various counties, this event also celebrates the achievements of youth orchestras in communities and schools throughout Ireland. To date the Festival has featured performances by more than 8,000 young musicians, including previous performances by the Laois School of Music Orchestra in 2009 (in collaboration with the Midlands Youth Orchestra) and 2013 (with Carlow and Lir).

‘In My Back Garden’ was commissioned in 2015 by Music Generation Laois as part of its ‘New Works Series’ – an ambitious initiative involving the creation of three brand new works, funded by Per Cent for Art through Laois County Council and the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership. The suite, written by Elaine Agnew for the Laois School of Music Orchestra and the Music Generation Laois National Schools Choir, was premiered in May 2016. The IAYO Festival will mark the third performance of this piece which features text by Ann Egan, sung by members of the Music Generation Laois Singing Programme.

The 2018 ‘Festival of Youth Orchestras’ will involve almost 500 young musicians and span two separate concerts across the day, at 3pm and 8pm. The Laois School of Music Orchestra will perform as part of the evening event.

For tickets and more information about the IAYO ‘Festival of Youth Orchestras’ visit: or phone the National Concert Hall Box Office at: 01 417 0000.

For more information about this and other Music Generation Laois events and initiatives contact:

Rosa Flannery, Coordinator
Music Generation Laois, Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

t: 057 8664078

Music Generation Laois is managed locally by Laois Music Education Partnership, led by Laois County Council in partnership with Laois Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois Partnership Company.