Junior strings 

The Junior Strings is the group where most of our young players begin their relationship with the DYO. Players are in the 9 to 12 age group, and must have a minimum of Grade 2 and good sight-reading ability. Please email juniors@dyo.ie for more information.

Our conductor

Vanessa Sweeney


Vanessa is a founder member of the Dublin Youth Orchestras and has conducted the Junior String section of the DYO since its first rehearsal in February 1982. She has taken great delight in watching the standards rise from the early years (when you could come along and join in if you could play your open strings) to today, when the individual standard of many players in the Junior Orchestra is quite stunning! Over 1,000 young players have played in Junior Strings under Vanessa’s direction and have experienced the excitement of performing both at the NCH and at our annual visit to a national school, which is part of our programme each year. Vanessa was a founder member of the DYO summer chamber music courses, which have taken place at Aravon School every year since 1984, and have introduced hundreds of young players to the joys of string quartet playing. She plays in The Delmaine String Quartet with whom she completed an MA in performance in 2008 at Cork School of Music, studying with the Vanbrugh Quartet, and currently leads the section of the Hibernian Orchestra. She is a full-time member of the music staff at Alexandra College, teaching violin and chamber music, and directs two school orchestras. She has two children (both former members of DYO) and five wonderful grandchildren.

Our managers

Claire O’Brien and Natasha Comeford – junior@dyo.ie