Tom’s many musical talents on show

Tom Doyle is treasurer with the Cork Orchestral Society, who perform on March 21 at CIT Cork School of Music
Tom’s many musical talents on show
Tom Doyle of Cork Orchestral Society.

Tell us about yourself:

I am a freelance musical director and pianist based in Cork city with a keen interest in musical theatre and opera.

For the past four years, I’ve been lecturing in conducting at CIT Cork School of Music (CSM) where I direct the CSM Senior Orchestra and the adult musical theatre choir ‘Union’.

More recently, I’ve turned my hand towards composition: last summer, I worked with Chattyboo Productions to devise and write the score to Pubcrawl: the Musical and am currently collaborating with director Judie Chalmers on a new musical adaptation of a children’s classic — watch this space!

Where were you born?

In Luton, England (the accent gives it away).

I spent my initial years there before the family moved back to Wexford and built a house on the long, winding road to Kilmore Quay.

Where do you live?

I moved to Cork in 2006 and haven’t left! — so much so that I declare myself to be a yellow belly with a rebel heart.


Dad took early retirement a couple of years back and Mum currently works as an SNA in Wexford. My sister Elena lives in Enniscorthy along with her partner Chris and daughter Lilly (she’s about to turn four — let the fun begin!). Mum’s parents live in Cyprus so sun holidays are never an issue.

Best friend?

Buy me a glass of red wine and you’re halfway there.

Earliest childhood memory?

To be honest, I can’t remember what happened five minutes ago, let alone …

Person you most admire?

The list is too long.

Person who most irritates you?

See answer above.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

I know a lady in the Blackpool Parish Choir who’d have no problem whipping the public coffers into shape.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

In the Czech Republic on two occasions — once in Olomouc with the UCC Choral Society (we managed to drink a pub dry of all its beer …) and another time with a friend in Prague. It’s such a beautiful country, steeped with so much history and culture.

Favourite TV programme?

If the TV is on, I’ll default to the news channels. I wish I had a more exciting answer but there you have it!

Favourite radio show?

The Blue of the Night on Lyric FM — but only when they’re playing the nice stuff.

Your signature dish if cooking?

A vegetarian curry — though I’ll admit I do cheat by using a curry paste. Bit of crème fraiche, brown rice, peshwari naan and chopped coriander on the side and we’re sorted.

Favourite restaurant?

Market Lane. Great food and great service — what more could you ask for?

Last book you read?

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It was a tough read, especially towards the end, but Plath is one of those writers who manages to draw you in by her clever and manipulative use of the English language.

Best book you read?

I picked up Heart of Tango by Elia Barceló recently on a complete whim whilst visiting the City Library (I know they say you should never judge a book by its cover but that’s easier said than done).

An incredibly vivid and colourful short story with the climax condensed beautifully into six or so pages — I was forced to take a breather after reading it.

Last album / CD / download you bought?

I honestly couldn’t tell you — I deal more with printed sheet music than recordings.

Favourite song?

A Song For You, covered by the Carpenters. If I’m in a classical mood, then it’s Morgen by Richard Strauss.

One person you would like to see in concert?

If you could bring back Karen Carpenter, sign me up.

Do you have a pet?

No. (Does my housemate count?)

Morning person or night owl?

Probably a night owl — I’m too fond of lie-ins.

Your proudest moment?

They say that pride comes before a fall so I’d better quit here while I’m ahead.

Spendthrift or saver?

Saver for a rainy day. As anyone working in the arts knows all too well, freelance life can be unfortunately precarious at the best of times.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Make Douglas Street one-way (this resident has seen — and heard — enough road rage to last him a lifetime).

What makes you happy?

The smell of fresh cut grass; random banter at the bus stop; really dark chocolate; out-of-tune bagpipes; a clear blue sky after a storm; when the traffic lights turn green on approach.

How would you like to be remembered?

Do you know something, I don’t?! Let’s go with: someone who just got stuff done.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Let me check the diary: As well as treasurer for the Cork Orchestral Society, I’m also involved in rep work with Cork Operatic Society, Feis Maitiu competitions, a concert with the CSM Opera Platform group, Easter mass services in Blackpool Church, MC work at Cork International Choral Festival, accompaniment for two MA recitals, and musical direction for a show in the Midsummer Festival. Enough to keep me busy.


Tom Doyle is Treasurer of the Cork Orchestral Society, who are currently in their 81st season.

The next concert to take place as part of the Cork Orchestral Society Programme will see the highly acclaimed Anglo-Irish Carducci String Quartet joined by Julian Bliss in the Curtis Auditorium at CIT Cork School of Music on Thursday, March 21.

For more info and tickets log onto,

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