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. 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.

Other 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. As conductor of the Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble she premiered many new works as well as revisiting Elliott Carter’s Triple Duo on a tour of the UK and Ireland.

In February 2021, Sinead 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.

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

She has partnered with local music schools in Athenry and Gort Co. Galway to devise and deliver engaging music projects such as Carolan's Rambles and the Baroque Session.



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.

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If you would like to book a coaching or consultation, I'd love to hear from you.


For advanced/professional musicians and composers


For intermediate to advanced players online and in person


Get an impartial, critical view of your new/existing score


Get fresh ideas and delivery strategies for your music performance/project

Before booking a full session, please book your free 15 minute consultation.



Some Project/Interview Videos from 2020/21



Details to be announced soon



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!