1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of the recruitment and selection process for Instrumentalists, aka military musicians, wishing to join the Irish Defence Forces (IDF).

2.0 What is the Role of an Instrumentalist?

Military Instrumentalists provide musical support for all aspects of military life, including:

  • Ceremonial parades;
  • Graduations;
  • Ship ceremonies;
  • Government functions; and
  • Public performances.

This supports is provided both at home and overseas.

3.0 Eligibility Criteria and Professional Qualifications

The IDF wants motivated and fit, qualified personnel who would relish the challenges offered by a career in military music.

Musicians must:

  • Be 18 or older but under 28 years of age on the date of application.
  • Be multi-talented performers with experience in several musical styles;
  • Be able to adapt to all types of performance situations and to diverse audiences;
  • Be skilled musicians; and
  • Have a Degree in Music Performance (desirable).

4.0 Instrumentalist Competition

The recruitment and selection process for Instrumentalist is held as required, and is known as the Instrumentalist Competition. Dates for competitions are advertised in national newspapers and the IDF website.

The process includes:

  • Online Application.
  • Interview:
    • Candidates who are deemed eligible will be asked to attend for Interview.
    • Candidates called for interview may produce any of the following to the Interview Board:
      • Musical certificates (Degree, Diploma or Grade); and/or
      • Testimonials (musical or otherwise).
  • Audition:
    • At audition candidates will be required to play two (2) contrasting pieces.
    • The audition will also include a sight reading test.
  • Medical Exam:
    • The top scoring candidates at the Interview will be called to attend a full medical examination in St. Bricin’s Military Hospital, Dublin.
  • Security Clearance:
    • In conjunction with the medical exam all candidates will be security vetted by An Garda SÁochána.
  • Candidates will be required to pass both the medical examination and security vetting to be considered for induction.

Candidates are placed in a competition’s order of merit, with only the top scoring candidates being offered as an Instrumentalist.

5.0 Instrumentalist Training

All newly enlisted Instrumentalists will undertake a Military Induction course.

6.0 Assignment to First Unit

Instrumentalists are assigned according to the needs of the IDF.

Although candidates will be posted to a particular band and location, there will on occasion be a requirement to perform with any of the IDF’s School of Music bands (or elements of those bands).

Bands are currently located at:

  • Collins Barracks, Cork;
  • Custume Barracks, Athlone; and
  • Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin.
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