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Kevin O'Carroll Music - Schools



Primary Schools Concerts

June 12th 2014

Theatre Royal Waterford
  • Professional Musicians Performing
  • Content selected in consultation with experienced Primary School teachers and in line with the Listening and Responding Strand of Primary School Curriculum
  • Teacher’s Pack and CD provided free
  • Suitable for 3rd to 6th Class
  • Cost: €6.00 per child
June 2014 will see the return of the Primary Schools Concert Series.  Over 11,000 children attended the concerts since we started in 2010 and the reaction of both children and teachers to the full orchestra was extraordinary.  With music selected by experienced primary teachers and professional musicians, an appropriate mix of education and entertainment is guaranteed.
What can children expect?
The concert will be an interactive event where children listen, move, sing and respond to the sounds and stories.  With a mix of classical, film, and light entertainment music, children are assured an hour of educational fun.  How does a flute work? French Horn? What sort of sound does a Tam Tam make? Questions such as these (and many more) are answered by professionals of many years experience.
What can teachers expect?
The concert series is devised by professional musicians and an advisory panel of primary school teachers.  We are therefore highly aware of the needs and wants of busy primary teachers.  To assist, Kevin O’Carroll Music will provide a CD with extracts of the music to be played at the concert.  A Teacher’s Pack containing relevant material will be sent to each school.  This pack will include preparatory material directly related to the concert and age appropriate tasks related to music.  The aim of this Teacher’s Pack is to provide all the materials necessary to extract the maximum benefit from the concert experience whilst at the same time ensuring that as many elements as possible on the music curriculum are addressed.
What does it cost?
The cost per child will be €6.00.  This covers the hire of the Theatre Royal in Waterford, the cost of the musicians, the preparatory materials and all administration costs.  Space will be reserved in the auditorium for any teachers or Special Needs Assistants that accompany the children.  Given that there is no charge for accompanying adults, schools are asked to ensure that the pupil teacher ratio is appropriate and not excessive.  Additional seats can be provided at the standard charge of €6 to adults not accompanying children or where a reasonable pupil teacher ratio is exceeded.
When is it on?
The concerts will be presented from June 12th 2014.  There will be two concerts – 10.00am until 11.00am and 12.00 noon to 1.00pm. 
Where is it on?
The performances will be held in the Theatre Royal Waterford.  As the capacity of the theatre is a total of 430, a maximum of 400 children will be permitted at any one session.   Allocation of date, time and seating will be on a first come, first served basis.  The theatre has three levels – Stalls, Circle and Upper Circle and the sightlines from each of these seating areas are excellent.  There will be no difference in cost between the three levels in the theatre. For further information on the theatre see .
Want to bring the orchestra to your school?
In certain circumstances it may be possible to have the orchestra tour to your school.  This depends on the number of children attending, distance from Waterford and access to a suitable hall for the performances.  If this option interests you please contact
What else can I do in Waterford?
As a busy city, Waterford is an excellent destination for a school outing.  If you are interested in a full day of arts and culture, the Schools Concert Series could be paired with a visit to Waterford Treasures Museum or Reginald’s Tower on the Quay or a visit to the Br Rice Centre in Barrack Street.  If you are looking for something with a bit more activity you could travel on to Dunmore East Adventure Centre or Tramore beach.
How do I pay?
Payment in full by cheque will be required four weeks in advance of the performance.  On receipt of funds a Teacher’s Pack will be sent to you together with all necessary information regarding seating etc.
What do I do next?
Simply email stating your preferred time of concert and the number of children you propose to bring.




Details of the 2013 Schools Concert Series have just been announced.  The concerts will take place in the Theatre Royal, Waterford on June 13th and 14th with two concerts each day at 10am and 12 noon.  Once again the ticket prices remain at €6 per child attending with a free seat for accompanying adults for every 25 children.  Early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment.  Click on the application form link above to commence the booking process.

This year's concert will be the fourth in the series and will complete our tour around the famiilies of the orchestra as qwe visit the String section.  Popular pieces such as Pachelbel's Canon and Monti's Czardas give a hint of the rande of music to be performed on the day.  

Once more a teacher's pack will be sent to each class attending the concert.  The pack will include details of the pieces to be performed, a recording of the pieces and additional educational material.  Check out the responses from previous concerts and have a look at the photos below  to get an idea of what to expect from this highly entertaining and educational experience.

For additional information on the Schools Concert Series please click here.



Here is the feedback from the principal of one school we visited in 2012:

Waterford Concert Orchestra performed in the school hall in St. Mary’s National School in Thomastown on June 12th , 2012.  There were two concerts, with more than 500 children from many of the nearby schools, attending each one.  The children sat on the floor, and the hall was full to capacity.  The children were enthralled by the music, the choice of music was perfect, and the children gave the musicians their full attention, really enjoying the demonstration of the woodwind instruments.  The school packs were invaluable, Kevin’s interaction with the children was superb, and the musicians made the occasion special for the children.  The children from St. Mary’s enjoyed the participation of their teacher, Mr. Reade.  We have already decided we want the Orchestra to play for us again next year, and hope it will become an annual event.

Margaret Walsh, Principal St Mary's School, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny


The Schools Concert Series 2012 will focus on the woodwind family of the orchestra.  Continuing the policy of Engaging, Educating, Entertaining, the concert will include pieces that feature the woodwind instruments of the orchestra.  Pieces such as Gabriel's Oboe by Ennio Morricone and The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini will be performed alongside firm classical favourites by Bizet and Gounod.  Also included are two songs for the children to sing with yhe orchestra - Do Re Me from The Sound of Music and the ever favourite Ireland's Call to finish.  In what will be a new departure for the orchestra, we are visiting two schools outside Waterford City in an effort to bring orchestral music to as wide an audience as possible.  We begin our 2012 schools concert series in St. Mary's School, Ballygunner before moving on to Thomastown - where I understand many smaller schools will travel to see the orchestra live.  On the 14th and 15th of June we return to our home base in Waterford city - The Theatre Royal where a few seats still remain for the four performances.  If you would like your schol considered for a visit in 2013 contact

 For additional general information on the Schools Concert Series please click here.


The next Primary Schools Concert Series will run from the 14th to the 17th June 2011 at the Theatre Royal, Waterford.  Based on our experience in 2010, early booking is strongly recommended.  This year's family of instruments in focus is the Percussion family - things you bang, squeeze, scrape or bash! 

Once again, the programme will be designed by musicians and teachers working together and once again, a great hour's entertainment is assured. A teacher's pack, complete with CD and entertaining exercises, will be provided to teachers in the weeks prior to the concerts to facilitate the proper preparation for the concert.  Please note that all bookings for the Primary Schools Concerts Series are through Kevin O'Carroll Music and the Theatre Royal cannot accept bookings directly.

Primary school teachers all face the challenge of introducing their pupils to the world of orchestral music, showing how music can be fun and at the same time completing the school music curriculum. With a series of specially designed orchestral concerts, Kevin O’Carroll has gone a long way towards satisfying these needs. The Schools Concert Series, which commenced in 2010, is devised as a four-year cycle of concerts with a different family of the orchestra featured each year. Feedback from the first year’s performance has been tremendous with almost 3,000 children in attendance and many schools expressing their intention to re-book next year. Don’t take my word for it. Here are the comments of teachers from St Mary’s School, Ballygunner, Waterford

  • The children thoroughly enjoyed the concert and are looking forward to next year’s already.
  • We will definitely be booking again next year – and the dates are ideal. I will be recommending the event to other schools, but you may need two weeks instead of one!
  • A most enjoyable performance. Very worthwhile and we look forward to attending again next year.
  • This was an excellent exercise for all concerned; the children really enjoyed the concert. The concert content was age appropriate and very well presented. The venue and organisation of the concert was superb! I felt the [teacher’s] pack was relevant and informative; overall, a very child-friendly, teacher-friendly venture! Looking forward to next year









Secondary School Concerts

Following a disappointing response to this initiative, the secondary school concerts series has been deferred.


Secondary School Choir Workshops

Whether you are a novice or have been conducting for many years, Kevin O’Carroll can help improve your overall conducting experience. By engaging his services, your choir and you, as director, may discover a new confidence through a mutual awareness of what is expected and/or possible.   Workshops can be run during the school day or at any time that is convenient for the school. 

For more information, please contact


Third Level Lecturing and Examining

In addition to providing bespoke lectures to national associations such as The Association of Irish Choirs and the Irish Church Music Association, Kevin has provided lectures for and supervised post-graduate students on the DCU, St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Dublin Post Graduate Diploma Course in Choral Conducting in Education and the Community. Lectures range in topic from score preparation -  to performance practice - to interpretation of 20th Century notation.  In January 2011 St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Dublin hope to run an outreach programme of the Post Graduate Diploma Course in Choral Conducting in Education and the Community.  As the first course in choral conducting outside Dublin to be recognised, Kevin hopes that many of the choral directors in the south east will sign up for this course.  

As the holder of a post-graduate degree in Choral Direction Kevin is available to act as external specialist examiner for all third level music courses. 




Music Competition Preperation

Competition is not just about deciding who wins! It is about helping all performers to reach their full potential. Whether you operate at a beginner’s level or have a good deal of experience it is always possible to improve. For many years, Kevin conducted choirs on the competition circuit in Ireland. He is therefore aware of the practical difficulties encountered by choirs in their search for the perfect performance. This awareness informs his commentary on competitive performances. Such commentaries usually contain references to the good elements of a performance but also refer to the areas where additional attention to detail would pay dividends.   Given that we cannot improve by compliments but only by constructive criticism, this mix of positive and negative feedback is essential to the progression of a choir. 

Kevin is available to all schools to provide private adjudication and advice without the stress and trauma of actual competition. This is most appropriate where a school group is thinking of entering competition for the first time. 

If you are interested in having Kevin visit your school contact



Musical Support for the School Show

Does your school mount a school show each year? If you answered yes, then read on.  Are you confident about conducting both the stage and the orchestra? If you have answered yes, then you are one of the lucky ones! 

If you have answered no, then maybe you could do with some assistance and/or support. With over thirty years experience in musical direction and orchestral playing within a theatre setting, Kevin O’Carroll is probably the person you want as your support system! Having worked on many shows involving teenagers, Kevin knows the particular issues that arise in this unique setting. With support available in areas such as conducting, instrumentation and score preparation etc, Kevin likes nothing better than sitting down with conductors and assisting them to get the best performance from both themselves and their young charges.  Kevin O'Carroll is Musical Director for the Waterford International Festival of Music which incorporates the Waterford International festival of Light Opera.

If you would like to find out more about how Kevin can help, please contact




Choir Voicing Review :-

‘Having seen this technique in action, it was fascinating to observe the change in vocal tone and unity that it brought about in the choirs that Kevin worked with. The result was obvious for the singers themselves but even more so for the listener. Every choir would find this technique to be beneficial.’ -                     Dermot O'Callaghan CEO of Association of Irish Choirs

For an independant review on the book Choral Conducting click here.