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Our Story

Get ready to embark on an electrifying journey with the Julianstown Youth Orchestra, pioneered by Maria and Fergus Sheil (Irish National Opera). Since its inception, the Julianstown Youth Orchestra grew to nearly 100 members, hitting its peak just before the onset of the Covid pandemic.

With two distinct orchestras catering to the budding talents of primary school children and the seasoned skills of secondary school students, we bring together musicians from counties of Meath, Louth, and Dublin under the banner of unparalleled musical excellence.

Fueled by a passion for providing extraordinary music experiences, our orchestra operates as a not-for-profit community organization. Under the celebrated baton of Fergus Sheil (Irish National Opera) until 2021, we now under the vibrant leadership of our new Musical Director, the maestro Lorcan Daly, appointed in November 2021.

The Orchestra’s history, marked by breathtaking performances nationally at prestigious venues such as the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan, the Barbican in Drogheda, the National Concert Hall, The Helix at DCU, and even the renowned Dublin Convention Centre. Internationally the Orchestra has performed in Portugal at the Lisbon International Youth Music Festival.

Highlighting our prowess, the JYO captivated audiences at the 18th IAYO Festival hosted by the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, where we clinched a prestigious award for our remarkable contributions to youth orchestral development. Collaborative projects with esteemed ensembles like the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra further cement our status as musical trailblazers.

Join us on a symphonic adventure filled with passion, talent, and unforgettable performances. With the Julianstown Youth Orchestra, every note reverberates with the energy of youth and the exhilaration of musical excellence.

Helix Performance March 2023


JYO Group Photo

Our Mission

We are dedicated to nurturing the musical development of young local musicians, beginning at the age of 6, by providing them with a creative environment and exceptional orchestral experiences.

Our mission is to make this opportunity available to all, irrespective of background or social standing, and we are committed to supporting every student in realizing their musical potential.

Our aim is to empower our members with musical knowledge and cultivate within them a deep love for music, along with a drive to achieve the highest standards of performance.

Our Conductors

Lorcan Daly

Lorcan Daly assumed the role of Musical Director and Senior Conductor at the Julianstown Youth Orchestra in December 2021

Throughout his career, Lorcan has overseen numerous ensembles, bands, and orchestras. He currently serves as Musical Director and Conductor of The County Kildare Orchestra. With a wealth of experience, Lorcan has delivered music education programs in primary schools, impacting generations of young musicians. Known for his expertise, inspiration, and dynamism, Lorcan demonstrates unwavering dedication to youth and his craft.

Lorcan pursued French Horn studies with Victor Malirsh at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He also received piano instruction from Louise Thomas and voice training from Veronica Dunne and Ken Shellard. As a former Boy Chorister of the Palestrina Choir, Lorcan served as Principal French Horn in both the Junior and Senior National Youth Orchestras of Ireland.

Over his extensive career, Lorcan held the position of Principal French Horn in the Army No. 1 Band. As a seasoned freelance musician, he has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Il Divo, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, The Waterboys, Sinead O’Connor, Daniel O’Donnell, Tommy Fleming, among others.

Senior Orchestra Conductor

Lorcan Daly

Senior Orchestra Conductor

Maia Matthews

In December 2023, Maia Matthews took on the role of Academy Conductor at the Julianstown Youth Orchestra.

At seven years old, Maia commenced violin studies under the guidance of Irine Corverda. During her early teens, she received instruction from Melanie Briggs Cull, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra, and successfully completed all graded exams in violin and theory with RIAM and ABRSM.

In 2010, Maia played a pivotal role as one of the founding members of the Julianstown Youth Orchestra, under the baton of Fergus Sheil, serving as principal violinist for five years. Throughout her journey, she benefited from attending numerous masterclasses, including those led by Ilya Gringolts and Tasmin Little. Additionally, she was a member of the DYO from ages 12 to 16.

Maia earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music with First Class Honors from University College Dublin, where she actively participated in the UCD Symphony Orchestra for two years. Looking ahead, Maia aspires to pursue a PhD in musicology.

Academy Conductor

Maia Matthews

Academy Conductor

The JYO Committee

The JYO is run by a voluntary committee. They can be contacted via email:

  • Chairperson:

    Lorraine O’Dwyer


    Patricia Hegarty


    Jennifer Coade


    Sheena Flavin


    Denise Gibson

    Instrument Manager:

    Ben Schazmann

    Senior Orchestra Manager:

    Patricia Hegarty

    Academy Orchestra Manager:

    Dian Donnelly

    Fundraising Manager:

    Milena Woznica

    Social Media Manager:

    Dian Donnelly


    Mr. & Mrs. Berney

Child Welfare

JYO implements a child protection policy in line with the HSE’s Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children and The Arts Council’s Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children and Young People in the Arts Sector.

Ireland’s National Child Protection and Welfare Guidance Training:

The Julianstown Youth Orchestra is supported by