The Irish Midlands Youth Orchestra was founded by Vincent Hunt in 2006, after recognising the need for a high-quality youth orchestra in the region. The orchestra began as a collaborative project involving several smaller orchestras for a performance in Ireland’s National Concert Hall, with the first official IMYO course later that year.

It is now a well-established and successful group of young musicians coming primarily from the midland counties of Ireland. After 10 seasons under Vincent Hunt, Matt Rafter took over as Conductor and Musical Director in 2015. Since that time, the orchestra has also enjoyed two years under the baton of American conductor Ross Bader, before Matt returned to the IMYO in 2020. IMYO is also lucky to have a fantastic team of tutors that cover every section of the orchestra.

Now in its 18th season, the orchestra has had several notable achievements, including several performances in the National Concert Hall. The orchestra has toured internationally to Germany, Dubai and Madrid, where they have performed alongside local orchestras and musicians. There has also been tours within Ireland for courses and performances in Cork School of Music, Queen’s University Belfast, and other venues around the country. Some notable recent workshops have included a session with the RTE Concert Orchestra in January 2020, and with traditional composer Michael Rooney in 2021.

Christmas concert 2023

IMYO is a voluntary non-profit organisation run by a hardworking parents committee. Support has been kindly received from Offaly County Council, Westmeath County Council, Westmeath PPN and the Deptartment of Rural and Community Development.