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 2022/23 season is her ninth as conductor of the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble (HRSE) in Belfast, and her second 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.
Last season she made her debut with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra, returning in July 2022 to conduct an opera gala with the Cara O'Sullivan young artists. This season, she works for the first time with Wexford Sinfonia, conducting a programme of Sibelius, Stravinsky and Ina Boyle in Wexford town.
Last season she conducted recordings of contemporary operas/works by Brian Irvine, Tom Lane, Fiona Linnane and Elaine Agnew's opera Paper Boat, due to be broadcast on RTE Lyric FM in winter 2022. She returned to the Ulster Orchestra for a video recording of Elizabeth Maconchy's Nocturne for International Women's Day 2022.
Highlights of previous seasons include making her debut with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (Der Schauspieldirektor for Irish National Opera), 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. She also worked with Opera Collective Ireland and Crash Ensemble to conduct the world premiere performances of Raymond Deane's Opera Vagabones.
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 also participated in masterclasses with Johannes Schlaefli, Sylvain Cambreling, among others, and in 2014 was one of three finalists chosen by the players of the Critical Orchestra Berlin, whose players are drawn from the Berlin Staatskapelle and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.
Sinead is a passionate advocate for lifelong learning, recently completing a PG Certificate in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship at Trinity College, Dublin.
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.
2021/22 CONDUCTING PERFORMANCES
HARD RAIN SOLOISTENSEMBLE ALBUM ON SPOTIFY
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.
THE BAROQUE SESSION
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
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.
PRESENTING, TEACHING & WRITING
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.
LECTURE: CONDUCTING CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
WRITING: ZOOM CONDUCTING - REFRAMING THE BATON
TEACHING: CONDUCTING STUDIO
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.
WALKING IN ULYSSES - LOCATION AUDIO COMPOSITION
Supported by Galway County Council Arts Office
Influenced by John Cage's Roaratorio, Walking in Ulysses was created by Galway musician and composer Sinead Hayes (solstrek). The work features an original soundtrack and score composed and performed by Sinead, and features the voices of local Tuam legends Midie Corcoran, Ronan Lardner & Padraig Stevens. Also featured are voices of local Tuam residents and students from St. Jarlath's College.
Along the way you will meet the characters of the book - Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, The Citizen (and his dog!), and of course Molly Bloom. Experience the carriage ride to Dignam's funeral in surround sound, and discover the imaginary love story between Bloom and Gertie MacDowell!!
The self guided walk can be experienced virtually online (below) or in-person as a self guided, geo located walk in Tuam at any time. The audio triggers automatically using the GPS in your phone. Don't forget your headphones!!
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)yahoo.co.uk