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2015 Course

In 2015 we welcomed our first guest ensemble to the course. The Irish Midlands Youth Orchestra joined us for a workshop and social evening whilst on their tour of the Middle East, and took part in an informal performance of our special commission for 2015, Tapline by Joanna Marsh. With our most adventurous programme to date, we continued to delight our audiences with our performances both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Conductor - Peter Currie

Peter was born in Scotland, but lives and works in and around London. He won an exhibition to study Conducting, Violin, Piano and Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Whilst at RAM, Peter studied conducting with Normal Del Mar, a regular conductor of the BBC Proms.

In 1982 he became Director of Music at Dulwich Prep School and from 1987-1990 was Head of Music at the Gulf English Secondary School in Kuwait.

He has been Musical Director of the Richmond Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Surrey County Youth Orchestra, regularly directs the Orchestras at Kent Music School’s residential summer schools, was Musical Director of the IAPS National Training Orchestra, works with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestras of Woking and Maidstone, and the Kent Sinfonia. He was also the inaugural conductor of the Dubai Sinfonia.

Peter has conducted various youth orchestra performances at The Royal Albert Hall including a Schools’ Prom.


Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo

   I. Buckaroo Holiday

   II. Corral Nocturne

   III. Saturday Night Waltz

   IV. Hoe Down

Aaron Copland

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg



The Planets

   I. Mars, the Bringer of War

   IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity



Richard Wagner



Gustav Holst




Joanna Marsh

Arabian Youth Orchestra Joanna Marsh

Tapline by Joanna Marsh

Tapline, is named after a long pipeline that runs from Qatar through to Lebanon constructed soon after the second world war. It was built was built by the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company a joint Saudi / American venture in a spirit of optimism as the US saw its way to meeting its burgeoning oil needs through easy access to a Middle Eastern supply.


The pipe meant doing away with the large tankers that had to travel the long way around the Arabian Peninsula and up the Suez canal where they were highly vulnerable to attack from pirates. Unfortunately, as typically of the region, there was gradual political falling out between the countries that Tapline traversed. Finally the whole pipeline was shut down by the Saudis in 1990.

The piece, Tapline, cycles through themes that are associated with oil: physical and mechanical challenges, associations with development, urbanization, politics and greed. The music is underpinned with a strong percussive line which plays on the title of the piece. The opening unison and octave repetitions build a sense of potential energy and this thematic material returns in various manifestations during the work.

Joanna Marsh is a British composer who has been living in Dubai since 2007. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and was an organ scholar at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge. She later studied composition with Richard Blackford and Judith Bingham. Recent commissions have included “Arabesques” for the Kings Singers, a Missa Brevis, for St. Alban’s Cathedral and a work for choir and orchestra “A bad day for Margaret Horton” for Kent College Pembury.

Joanna is programme curator for The Score, who most recently put on ChoirFest Middle East in Dubai, March 2014.


For more information on Joanna Marsh click here.

Arabian Youth Orchestra Irish Midlands Youth Orchestra

The Irish Midlands Youth Orchestra

The Irish Midlands Youth Orchestra was established in 2005 and is now a thriving group of around 50 young musicians. The orchestra rehearses monthly during the school year, and for three day workshops during Christmas, Midterm and Summer holidays.

The orchestra works under the guidance of Musical Director Vincent Hunt who is assisted by a team of instrumental tutors.

Recent performances of IMYO have included:

National Concert Hall – Festival of Youth Orchestras

Mullingar Park Hotel – Concert with Army Band of the Western Brigade

Tullamore Court Hotel – Workshop with National Symphony Orchestra, followed by performance with internationally acclaimed violinist, Tasmin Little.


For more information on IMYO click here.

2015 Sponsors

We would like to thank our 2015 sponsors, without whose generosity and support AYO would be unable to operate.


Click on the logos below to find out more!

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