Irish conductor Sinead Hayes is equally at home working with choir, orchestra and in opera. She is emerging as one of Ireland's leading interpreters of contemporary music and opera, with a particular interest in the work of emerging and established Irish composers. The 2021/22 season is her eighth as conductor of the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble (HRSE) in Belfast, and her first season as conductor of the Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. In February 2022 she was appointed principal guest conductor of Galway's Luminosa Orchestra.

So far this season she has made her debut with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra, Galway's Luminosa Orchestra and Ulster Touring Opera. She returned to the Ulster Orchestra to record Elizabeth Maconchy's Nocturne, and she also conducted a number of performances of The Snowman with Newry Chamber Players. Other recent work includes conducting recordings of new works by Tom Lane and Brian Irvine, as well as a workshop on Mahler's Adagietto with the Royal Irish Academy of Music Strings.

In the 2019/20 season, before COVID, she worked with Crash Ensemble and Opera Collective Ireland conducting the premiere performances of Raymond Deane’s new opera Vagabones. In November 2019 she made her Ulster Orchestra debut conducting the orchestra in 7 educational concerts across Northern Ireland, and in April 2021 returned to the orchestra to open their Spring Digital Concert Series.

Highlights of previous seasons include making her debut with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (Der Schauspieldirektor), return visits to Northern Ireland Opera to conduct productions of Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Greg Caffrey’s children’s opera The Chronic Identity Crisis of Pamplemousse, as well as working with Irish National Opera as assistant conductor and chorus master on Bartok: Bluebeard’s Castle, Dennehy: The Second Violinist, Verdi: Aida, Puccini: Madama Butterfly & Mozart die Zauberfloete

In February 2021, Sinead was awarded an artist bursary by the Arts Council of Ireland, to support the development of a new conducting workshop for secondary school students, and to work on developing her skills in conducting and interpreting contemporary music, focussing on the work of Irish composers.

She completed her MMus in conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music and her BMus in violin and composition at City University, London.

Sinead is a passionate advocate for lifelong learning, recently completing a PG Certificate in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship at Trinity College, Dublin. She has also used the time during lockdown to redevelop her composition skills, combining these with her fiddle/violin performance experience, and newly relearned music production skills to create

The lockdown gave Sinead the opportunity to partner with local music schools in Athenry and Gort Co. Galway to devise and deliver two music education projects: Carolan's Rambles and the Baroque Session. Both music schools were jointly awarded the Irish Association of Youth Orchestra's 2021 Ovation Award in recognition of their innovative work during the pandemic.

Sinead is committed to providing opportunities for emerging conductors in the west of Ireland and has included assistant conductors in the majority of her recent projects. As well as teaching conducting, she is the mentor for the Athenry Conducting Mentor Scheme, working with talented musician Mary Duggan, who conducts the Athenry Sinfonietta. Other emerging conductors she has worked with include Doireann Kelly, Niall Kelly and Fiona Linnane.





A New Workshop for Arts in Junior Cycle Exploring Junior Certificate Key Skills through Conducting

This interactive workshop is for teachers of all subjects, and those curious to discover the skills needed to be a conductor. It takes place over two evenings (via Zoom) and explores the parallels between a conductor's skillset, and the skills that form the basis for the Junior Certificate.

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CD Launched 10th October 2021

The fantastic Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble in concert in June 2021. Music by Ed Bennett, Philippe Festou, Rhona Clarke and Greg Caffrey. Our new CD launched Sunday 10th October 2021.

**UPDATE: Read the album's review in Australia's Limelight Magazine here

"the seven-strong ensemble, held seamlessly together by conductor Sinead Hayes, is clearly a tightly-knit unit, secure enough to allow individual members to shine and showcase when called into the spotlight. Such flexibility proves to be one of the group’s defining strengths, together with the fluent reciprocity that binds them together."



Videos, Workbook and optional in-person workshop for 1st & 2nd year JCT Students

I was delighted to launch my Discover Conducting resources for 1st & 2nd year Junior Certificate students at the Post Primary Music Teacher's Association Conference in October 2021. To find out more and purchase the resources, click the link below. I am also booking in-person workshops for December 2021 and January 2022. Click below to find out more.

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Video Launched 17th September 2021

This brilliant 4 movement work is the perfect introduction to Irish traditional music and the music of Ireland's national composer Turlough Carolan, all viewed through a lens of European classical music. Brilliantly composed by Irish contemporary composer Raymond Deane, it is performed here by Athenry Sinfonietta with soloists Séamus McGuire, Niamh Crowley, Kenneth Rice & Adrian Mantu, and conducted by Sinead Hayes.



Using Music & Performance as a Catalyst for Creativity

Since September 2020, Sinead has collaborated with local secondary schools St. Jarlath's  College and The Mercy in Tuam, as well as Athenry Music School & Coole Music & Arts to devise and deliver a number of innovative music education projects. So far, over 200 young people from County Galway have participated in these projects.

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Funded by the Arts Council of Ireland

With the support of an Artist Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland, Sinead devised and tested a fun and engaging 45minute interactive workshop designed to introduce 1st and 2nd year secondary school students to the amazing world of conducting.

With Coole Music & Arts

A project with over 100 young musicians from Coole Music & Arts, using the life of Irish composer and harpist Turlough Carolan as a catalyst for creativity.
Each group learned about the extraordinary life of Turlough Carolan, learned a Carolan tune, and an Irish traditional tune, created artwork, poetry, stories and original compositions.

Funded by the Arts Council of Ireland

This project, launching soon, is the culmination of a year's work with the young musicians of Athenry Sinfonietta. Their performance of

A Baroque Session (with Carolan & Friends) by renowned Irish composer Raymond Deane, fuses Irish traditional and European classical music with the works of 18th century Irish harpist Turlough Carolan. 



Sharing the Knowledge

In the past year Sinead was delighted to have been invited as a guest lecturer in Conducting at the University of Salford, UK & University College Dublin. She delivered presentations for the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras and the NYMAZ Connect: Resound Remote Music Learning Festival 2021. She has also been working with a number of composers who have been learning to conduct.

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A fast paced, engaging introduction to the particular skills needed to successfully conduct and realise performances of contemporary music, drawing on the music of Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Reich. The lecture can be tailored to the level of the students and the lecture time available, and can be delivered via Zoom or in-person.

A free publication detailing Sinead's experience of working remotely with the young musicians of Athenry Sinfonietta. In the document she proposes a framework for working with and developing the flexible musical skills of youth ensembles based on Critical Listening, Critical Observation and Critical Music Thinking.

In November 2020 Sinead launched a very successful programme of individual conducting lessons for composers. Due to COVID, all lessons were online, but as restrictions ease her teaching studio will be expanded to include socially distanced, in person conducting lessons with professional musicians and gifted emerging musicians who wish to learn to conduct.



Some Project/Interview Videos from 2020/21



If you'd like to get in touch to talk about a project or collaboration, I'd love to hear from you using the contact form below. Alternatively you can e-mail me directly at sineadhayes101(at)

Thanks for getting in touch!