Grace Coughlan

My name is Grace Coughlan and I am a Transition Year student at Loreto Secondary School Fermoy , Co. Cork. I am a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Cork Youth Orchestra, the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra and other music ensembles .

As Transition Year requires on the job experience, I was very fortunate to be accepted by the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras at their office in Cork from 2 – 7 February 2015.

This was the week leading up to the 20th Festival of Youth Orchestras being staged at the National Concert Hall Dublin. It was certainly an eye opener for me to see the amount of work involved in organising the anniversary events and the day to day running of the office. Even though virtually all the work for the concert was completed when I arrived, I could still appreciate the amount of work put in by Allin, Bertie and Iris.

On the Saturday of the Festival, I was stationed back stage directing musicians to their dressing room and helping the younger musicians with their instruments. It was heart-warming to see all the orchestras being involved together at the Festival, as it shows that hard work pays off and hopefully more musicians will get involved in orchestras as a result.

Looking back on my week what really struck me was the amount of work that people in the background do that we in orchestras are not aware of or appreciate. So the next time I receive an email from Allin, Bertie, Iris and Carol-Ann, I will have a greater appreciation and understanding of the work that they do.

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