Apprentice Scheme Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the IMO Apprentice Scheme?
This is an exciting cross-genre orchestra course during Hallowe'en mid term 28th Oct - 4th Nov 2017 which culminates in performances in Christchurch Cathedral. Dublin and Galway (3rd Nov).
It is open to advanced level musicians of all ages and instruments who perform one or more of traditional, classical or jazz music.
Successful applicants will be mentored by orchestra Founder and Artistic Director Dave Flynn and conductor Bjorn Bantock.
The core Irish Memory Orchestra will join the Apprentices in the middle of the course to rehearse and perform Dave Flynn's Memory Symphony and excerpts from The Clare Concerto.
2. What is the Irish Memory Orchestra?
The Irish Memory Orchestra, founded by composer Dave Flynn, is an innovative, uniquely Irish orchestral project. Flynn has created a distinctive new sound by mixing some of the leading traditional and classical musicians in Irish music.
The orchestra gets its name from the fact that it is based in Ireland and that the musicians perform without sheet-music, unlike standard classical orchestras.
Through its unique instrumentation and performance practices the IMO is the ONLY orchestra of its kind in the world.
3. Who are the Irish Memory Orchestra members?
The members of the Irish Memory Orchestra are some of the best musicians in the business who have outstanding cross-genre ability in traditional and classical music. Some members also have outstanding ability in jazz and other styles.
A full list of core members and bios is available at our website http://www.irishmemoryorchestra.com/musicians.html
4. What is The Memory Symphony and The Clare Concerto?
The Memory Symphony is a new composition by Irish Memory Orchestra founder Dave Flynn, It is being composed for a 100 piece orchestra and will feature a colourful array of instruments. It will be the first symphony ever composed for this line-up of instruments and the first symphony composed to be performed specifically by memory.
The Clare Concerto is an hour long piece composed by Dave Flynn for a 70 piece Memory Orchestra under a commission from the Arts Office of Clare County Council. It was premiered in Glór, Ennis in November 2013 to great acclaim in front of a capacity audience. The piece is a homage to the heritage, landscape and culture of Clare. You can read more info about it here. http://www.daveflynn.com/the-clare-concerto.html
5. What standard of musicians are you seeking?
We are seeking musicians of advanced to outstanding ability who are passionate about traditional music and also interested in classical music, jazz and other styles.
You would need to have the equivalent ability of Grade 8 or higher to have a chance of being selected for an audition for the senior Apprentices Orchestra.
There will be a Youth section for musicians aged 16 and under. Musicians need to be at least Grade level 6 or equivalent ability to qualify for the Youth Section.
If you are a beginner of any age or intermediate over 16 this scheme is not suitable for you so please do not apply.
6. What are the benefits of the scheme?
There are several benefits including, but not limited to the following:
(a) Successful candidates will join Dave Flynn & the Irish Memory Orchestra for two major concerts in Dublin and Galway to premiere The Memory Symphony.
(b) Successful candidates will receive tuition and mentoring from Dave Flynn, Bjorn Bantock and members of the Irish Memory Orchestra.
(c) Successful candidates will also perform with the core orchestra in excerpts from ‘The Clare Concerto’ and get to work directly with the composer Dave Flynn.
(d) Following the event some outstanding apprentices may be asked to join the Irish Memory Orchestra as deputy members, which will lead to paid work in events around Ireland and abroad.
(e) All applicants will receive a free digital PDF copy of The Clare Concerto Tunebook when they have paid the small application fee.
(f) The concert will be widely publicised.
(g) Successful applicants will receive two tickets to one of the performances as part of the course fee.
(h) Applicants may avail of free portrait photographs taken by official IMO photographer John O'Neill after the concerts.
7. How do I apply?
Please fill out the application form here
There is an application fee of €15 to help cover administration costs.
In return for the application fee you will receive a free digital PDF copy of The Clare Concerto Tunebook.
If you are selected for the next stage you will be asked to submit a video audition of you performing some of The Clare Concerto or you may be asked to audition in person.
If you are accepted onto the scheme there is a course cost of €250 which must be paid upon acceptance of a place.
If you pull out of the course after accepting your place you will forfeit the course fee. This is to ensure fairness and to minimise the risk of people pulling out of the course when others would gladly take their place.
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8. When is the application deadline?
Applications are open until all places are filled. Many places have been filled already, so it is recommended you apply ASAP.
9. What happens after I apply?
Applications will be reviewed and the most outstanding applicants will be called for live or Skype auditions at a time and venue to be confirmed.
Prior participants in Apprentice schemes may be exempt from auditions and will be informed shortly after they apply if they are accepted.
10. Is there an age limit?
No. This opportunity is open to ALL ages.
If you’re good enough you’re old enough/young enough!
11. Do apprentices have to be from Galway?
No, the scheme is open to anyone living anywhere, provided they can commit to traveling at their own expense to auditions/rehearsals and the concerts.
12. Do I have to be equally good at traditional and classical music?
No, however ideal candidates will have a strong ability in both styles.
It is particularly beneficial for fiddle players/violinists to have such dual ability.
13. Do I have to be able to read music?
No, it is more important to be an excellent musician with a very good ear and memorisation capacity. The ability to read music is very useful but not essential.
14. What other qualities must I have?
An excellent attitude is essential. You must be friendly, hard-working, positive, willing to take direction and constructive criticism and a real team player.
15. I’m primarily a jazz musician but I have an interest in this project. Can I apply?
Yes, several of our section leaders are experienced jazz musicians with abilities in traditional and classical music.
16. What instruments are you looking for?
Whilst the scheme was originally open to all instruments, spaces for the following instruments are now full
Harp, Concertina, Oboe, Piano/Keys
We have re-opened applications from advanced players of all other instruments
We are particularly interested in applications in the following categories
Violin/Fiddle, Cello, Double Bass, Viola, Percussion, Trombone, French Horn, Bassoon, Uilleann Pipes
17. I applied for previous schemes, can I apply again this year?
Yes, however please bear the following in mind;
If you auditioned but were not selected to be an apprentice you will need to have improved your ability significantly to be considered again.
If you were selected to be an apprentice before please contact firstname.lastname@example.org before applying again as you may be exempt from auditioning or we may feel this year's course is not suited to you.
18. I play more than one instrument to a high level, which should I choose to audition for?
You are strongly encouraged to audition on all instruments you have a high level of ability on since competition for some instrument places will be much higher than others. So if you play violin/fiddle and viola there is going to be less competition for viola places, so you are more likely to be selected if your viola playing is very strong.
19. What instruments will have the least competition for places and will be easiest to audition for?
In past schemes we have not had many applications from Brass players, so we strongly encourage brass players to apply.
However, if you play a brass instrument please don’t be complacent! If you are the only trumpet player to audition that does not mean you will be selected. We will only select musicians who display excellent musicianship AND the right attitude so there are no easy auditions!
20. I am a singer, can I apply?
Please apply via our Singer's Scheme
If you are selected for the IMO Choir through this you will take part in the Apprentice Scheme rehearsals and performances
21. Can classical/opera singers apply?
Classically trained singers may apply however preference will be given to choral music specialists and singers who can sing to a high standard in early music style. The music is not suited to Opera solo voices. Singers need to sing without vibrato.
22. What will I be required to do in the audition?
If your initial audition video is deemed good enough you will be asked to submit a 2nd video featuring excerpts from the Clare Concerto and given some technical tests. You must submit a video link of this audition.
Following this you may be called for the 2nd round of auditions which involves a live or Skype audition in front of a panel of experts.
23. When and where are the live auditions?
Venue and date of audition will be confirmed after you apply.
24. Where and when will training/rehearsals take place?
Rehearsals will take place as follows;
28th Oct - 3rd Nov 2017 in Lisheenkyle National School, Athenry, Co. Galway, in assocation with Athenry Music School, followed by the concerts in and Galway and Dublin on 3rd and 4th November.
There will be a day off on Tuesday October 31st for Halloween.
25. Where can I stay and how do I get there?
If you are accepted as an apprentice we will provide advice on finding accommodation and how to get to the venues.
Apprentices must arrange their own accommodation however.
There is plenty of accommodation in Athenry and surrounding areas, please check www.booking.com, www.tripadvisor.ie and www.airbnb.ie
Galway City is a 20 minute drive away and there is regular public transport between Athenry and Galway and Dublin.
26. I previously took part as an apprentice but will not be able to attend some of the rehearsals and/or the dress rehearsal. Can I still apply?
Please contact us to let us know which rehearsals you can attend. We may be able to cater for prior apprentices in this way.
27. I have an important event on during one of the rehearsal nights, however I would be free for most of the others, can I still apply?
Yes, please apply, if you are good enough to be accepted onto the apprenticeship scheme we may be able to make allowances for pre-booked once- off events you are already committed to.
28. Do apprentices get paid/expenses?
Unfortunately our budget does not allow for any payment to apprentices. However there will be a small number of Bill Whelan Scholarships awarded to outstanding apprentices at the end of the course. The scholarships will include a full refund of course fees and a special certificate. One person will be named 'Apprentice of the Year' and awarded a professional performance opportunity with the IMO in 2018. There is also the possibility of future paid work with us for outstanding apprentices.
All apprentices or parents/guardians need to arrange their own transport, accommodation, food etc.
29. What will happen the money we pay for the fees?
The Irish Memory Orchestra is a non-profit organisation. All fees received will go towards the running of the course and general day to day administration costs. So by paying the course fee you are contributing to the future of the IMO, as well as your own musical development.
30. I am a previous apprentice who was promoted to be a Deputy member, yet I have not been asked to perform with the Core IMO in the performance. Please explain why this is and whether I can participate anyway.
Due to limited funding we are only able to commit to paying core IMO section leaders for this scheme. Deputy members are very welcome to participate in the scheme free of charge. If you are one of these deputy members please contact Dave Flynn and inform him of your wish to take part under these terms.
31. Are Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill involved in the 2017 Scheme?
No, Martin and Dennis are not involved this time around. Mairtín O'Connor is our special guest for 2017.
32. I’m a professional musician, I should get paid for this! Isn’t this exploitative?
This is an orchestra training and development course, so the scheme is NOT aimed at established professional musicians, although professional musicians are welcome to apply, so long as they understand this is a training and development scheme. The scheme is considerably cheaper than most other orchestra schemes of a similar standard and it can lead to professional opportunities.
Former apprentice, Alex Borwick, is now our principal Trombonist, another former apprentice, Matthew Berrill is now our principal Saxophonist and in 2016 we appointed former apprentice Róisín Donohoe to be our principal vocalist.
Several experienced, renowned & award-winning musicians applied and were accepted onto previous schemes including Brid Harper, Aine McGrath, Tara Connaghan and Katharine Mag Maghnuis. All of these musicians have since received paid work with the IMO.
Ultimately this opportunity WILL lead to future paid work for the most outstanding apprentices.
YOU COULD BE NEXT!
So Apply Here