Irish Youth Music Awards


Education Hub Timetable + Workshop Guest Bios


Alan Swan - Director of Music Content at RTÉ 2FM 

Alan Swan is the current Director of Music for RTÉ 2FM. An award-winning content & events producer for Radio, TV & Digital,  Alan is known for identifying and developing new broadcast talent with a passion for podcasting and voice.


Mick Roe - Faction Records 

Artist and Label manager at Faction Records (All Tvvins, James Vincent Mc Morrow and Jape). Prevous to this Mick started as a musician playing drums in various bands, including Adebisi Shank. He began working in the industry as an agent, booking tours for artists in Europe and Asia. He co-founded the Irish independent label Richter Collective, building it into an internationally respected company with worldwide distribution.


Liza Geddes - Music Publicist

Liza has over 15 years’ experience working in the music industry.  She has worked with lots of bands of all sizes as well as some of the biggest events in the country.  Currently she's the publicist for Hard Working Class Heroes, The Choice Music Prize and Other Voices and acts such as Bell X1, Girl Band and Domino Records. Day to day she works with the media across TV, Online, Radio and Print.


James Byrne - Any Other City Records

James has spent the last six years touring the world drumming in Mercury-nominated and Choice-prize-winning band, Villagers, sharing stages with the likes of Elbow, Neil Young, Grizzly Bear and The National. He also owns and runs the Any Other City label, releasing records by some of Ireland’s leading young artists, such as James Vincent McMorrow, Villagers, Girl Band and Jet Setter. His wealth of experience within the independent music scene gives him a unique perspective on the skills and knowledge required to survive within the modern music industry.


Paul Kenny - Session Drummer

Paul is an in-demand session drummer in Ireland, and regularly plays with musicians including singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow, Irish band Jape, and German band Get Well Soon. He’s toured extensively around the world, including performances with Jools Holland, and gigs at the Sydney Opera House and Coachella festival. Over the years, Paul has shared the stage with esteemed bands and artists such as The National, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and Mumford & Sons. As well as performing, Paul has studied extensively, including time spent with Benny Greb in Mannheim, Germany.


Shelly Bukspan - Vocal Coach 

An American/Israeli singer, songwriter and performer, Shelley has been part of the Irish music scene since 1986. As a front woman and solo artist, she’s performed at many events and festivals, including CMJ New York and the Montreux Jazz Festival, among others. She’s also appeared on TV and radio shows both in Ireland and abroad, such as sessions for the BBC, with the RTE Orchestra and many more. She’s recorded, collaborated with and arranged backing vocals for artists such as Mary Black, Bronagh Gallagher, Mary Coughlan, Horslips and other many indie and contemporary young Irish artists. Shelley runs music workshops, as well as leading a choir and her own Gospel quartet, The BC Singers. Her recent projects includes an album of original Northern Soul and Ska with The Supertonic Sound Club, plus work on her solo album.


Danny Snow - Bassist

Danny Snow has been playing bass and performing live since the age of fourteen. He attended Newpark School of Music where he undertook a BA in Jazz Performance. In 2009 Danny joined the group Villagers and since then has toured extensively all over the world. performing shows in Japan, Australia, America and across Europe. Villagers are the only Irish act ever to be nominated twice for the Mercury Music Prize and have also received two nominations for the Choice Music Prize, winning in 2014, for their album ‘Awayland’. Danny has also played with several other artists including Cathy Davey and Jape.


Ray Boyle - Guitarist 

Ray began his career in the 90s as lead guitarist and songwriter in the band The Ultra Montanes, signing to Sony indie label Lakota and releasing an album and several singles. He later studied classical guitar, completing his Recital Diploma at Trinity College of Music London and his Licentiate in Classical Guitar Recital. Ray has collaborated and played with a broad range of artists, including Babyshambles, Suede and the virtuoso violinist Cora Venus Lunny. He’s been musical composer and arranger for theatre productions, and has scored several animated shorts and projects for the Dublin Fringe Festival. Drawing on his wide-ranging knowledge of styles and techniques, Ray’s been a guitar tutor since 2006.


Colm Quearney - Songwriter

For over a decade, Colm has coordinated and facilitated many different music workshops and projects, having completed a training course in Music Therapy with The Drake Music Project in Newry. Colm is also the owner of The Qube Analogue and Digital Recording Studio in North Strand, Dublin, where he’s been recording and producing bands since 2004. As a session guitarist he’s performed with Cathy Davey, Damien Dempsey, Mundy and Mark Geary, and has played guitar and co-written songs with Jerry Fish, The Pale and Bronagh Gallagher. To top off his prolific musical endeavours, Colm is also a solo artist performing under the name of Q, with three albums released under this guise to date.


Meet Our Mentor Panel 


Mark Crossingham - Managing Director of Universal Music Ireland

Mark started as a sales rep at Warner Music UK in 1986 then progressed to National Accounts manager and later to Head of International Marketing. Mark left Warner Music UK in 1996 to join MCA International as Marketing Director then moved to MCA UK as the Marketing Director. When MCA became part of Universal Mark was appointed General Manager at Universal/Interscope UK.

Later Universal purchased Polygram and Mark became General Manager at Island Records who have worked with Ariana Grande, U2, Hozier and Drake. He later moved to be Senior Vice President of International & then General Manager of Concord Music Group’s International Operations.

Moved to Ireland in 2008 to be Managing Director of Universal Music Ireland whos roster includes Arcade Fire, Guns N' Roses, Kendrick Lamar with Irish signings including The Riptide Movement,
Walking on Cars, Little Green Cars and The Coronas.


Niall Bryne - Nialler9 

Niall Byrne is the music enthusiast at the helm of the most-read Irish music blog, where he writes about new music. Niall writes articles about music for the Irish Times every week. He can also frequently be found DJing at his club night Lumo or hosting Nialler9-curated music events.  Recently, Niall has been delving into music supervision curating music for TV, ads and film with Avant Music Port.


Lorraine Boshell - IMRO Ireland 

Lorraine has been involved within the music and entertainment industry since 2006 when she began promoting acts and events in university. During this time she undertook work experience with Warner Music Ireland before returning to education to study Music Management at Ballyfermot College of Further Education.

Over the years Lorraine has worked in a production capacity at festivals and events including Oxegen, Sea Sessions, First Fortnight, NYE Dublin and Arthur’s Day as well as contributing music articles and reviews to GoldenPlec and

For almost four years Lorraine was part of the Mission PR team working with a variety of artists including Otherkin, Wyvern Lingo, Ryan Sheridan, Picture This, The Blizzards and Olivia Newton John. She recently made the move to IMRO joining the busy Marketing and Membership department


Jake Mc Ardle - IYMAs Recipient act for Louth 2015

Jake McArdle is an upcoming Irish singer/songwriter. He is a self-taught guitarist and not only writes, but has also learned to record his own music. He has a huge love for acting, dancing and of course singing, he is certainly not a stranger to the stage. In 2015 at only 17, he won the All Ireland, Irish Youth Music Award as part of team Louth. Following this he has pushed himself and his music and is ready to share his music with the world. With the support of the IYMA’s, Jake was invited to perform on Ireland’s national television station, RTE. This brought him further success when he got the opportunity to perform for the President of Ireland supporting Little Green Cars in Dublin Castle as part of the Gaisce Awards.

After winning at the IYMAS, Jake received a lot of support from fans, local newspapers and wider audience, he also received the chance to record at Temple Lane Recording studio as part of the IYMAs programme which was home to many famous artists including Rihanna, Coldplay, and U2.
Jake has performed on many radio stations across the country since his involvement in the IYMAs and there is huge interest in his unique sound.




About us:

The Irish Youth Music Awards is an educational programme for young people aimed at creating teamwork and friendship at local level, while providing first contact work experience in a variety of subjects associated with the music business. The initiative brings together some of Ireland’s top music industry personnel directly into contact with young musicians. This initiative has proved hugely successful and has been given a thumbs up from BIMM Institute Dublin, The Thin Air Magazine, Warner Music Ireland, Faction Records, Sony Music Ireland, Music Maker Dublin, Music Matters, Hot Press Magazine, IRMA and IMRO, all of whom have been directly involved.

The Irish Youth Music Awards is a community based youth music project for teen bands and musicians aged 12-19 year, across the whole island of Ireland. It is a music led music based project which honours the most effective music projects run by groups of young people each year.

The principle aim of IYMA is to give young musicians access to industry professional to benefit from their advice and knowledge. Judging is based on the entire project from the band, to the crew, to the promotion and approach to the competition. The overall champion receives recording time in a studio, and they produce an album of their own. Because the programme is entirely youth-led, the young people involved gain entrepreneurial and leadership skills while doing something they are passionate about.

Last year over 15,000 young people engaged in the initiative and it is still growing.

The Irish Youth Music Awards National Day takes place in Croke Park on Saturday 22nd April 2017. Tickets are now available here.

To hear about the IYMAs please sign up to our mailing list here.

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Irish Youth Music Awards Vol 9 is now Available

You can buy our top five charted album via iTunes here or instore on CD from OMG Zhivago in Galway or Tower Records Dublin.


So we think this is great let’s hear what the recipients of the awards have to say about the project:


JANAJ and Team Galway, recipients of IYMAs 2016

JANAJ – 2016 IYMA’s Awards Recipient Act:

“It was amazing to be part of the IYMAs programme we got to play the Aviva Stadium and on the lead up to the event we were working together as a team learning new skills like working on PR getting interviews on the local radio and TV, making a music video for our representing song and recording demos of our tracks. It’s been a journey for us and it’s been a great experience especially seeing so many other young people from across Ireland our own age doing the same thing. We are really looking forward to now recording our album as part of the IYMAs prize and we are really excited that this album will feature all our team that played our regional event in Galway back in January. We would encourage any young people looking to learn more about the creative and music industry to get involved in the programme and we are looking forward to get involved in the Irish Youth Music Awards again next year."


Jake Mc Ardle and Team Louth, recipients of IYMAs 2015

Jake Mc Ardle – 2015 IYMA’s Awards Recipient Act:

“I entered the IYMA’s in February 2015 little did I know I would be picked as the representing act for Co.Louth. I gained so many qualities throughout my journey. At the national event in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin it was great to see so many young people perform from all over Ireland. I feel the IYMA’s has helped me grow personally and musically. I am honoured to have been involved in a project like this. I would like to give a massive thank you to Youth Work Ireland for giving me this opportunity and supporting me on this journey”


The Left Backs, recipient of IYMAs 2014

Lucas from The Left Backs – 2014 IYMAs Awards Recipient Act:

“I thought the IYMAs was a really good idea to get young people interested in music. I think the creative element was the best part as you had to write your own music as it’s easier to do a cover than write your own song. The collective around the band on the project was great with the facebook team and the stylist. It was unbelievable to win The IYMAs, we have been in lots of battle of the bands competitions before and this and this is the first music event we won”


Niamh Crowther, recipient of IYMAs 2013

Niamh Crowther – 2013 IYMAs Awards Recipient Act:

“I’ve been taking part in The IYMAs since 2011 and have been lucky enough to record on both of the winning Meath team’s albums. The IYMAs are a standalone initiative, it’s all about teamwork rather than winners and losers which is what appealed to me in the first place. The opportunities and experiences I’ve had as a result of The IYMAs were ones that I’ll always remember and be extremely grateful for as they’ve encouraged and aided me in developing as an artist”