The Academy Band

If you would like to get playing or are still early in your musical journey – the St James’s JD Academy Band is perfect for you.

We offer group lessons in woodwind, brass, and percussion for ages 10 years+.

We have an ensemble once a week where you will have the opportunity to play with others and build on your musical ability. We play music around grade 3 standard but provide simpler versions of all pieces if needed to match your ability. The age group of the Academy band is very diverse and we have a mix of children and adult members.

What to learn more? Get in touch!

Fees: €260 pa (€5 per week)

Mass Band: Wednesday, 6:45 to 8pm

Early players: Monday 7.30om to 8.30pm


The Jack Dempsey Concert Band was founded in 2016 by Eva O’Toole. The band, not linked to a geography or another band, was named after Eva’s grandfather ‘Jack Dempsey’ who himself was a music lover and singer.

The band was founded to provide a place for musicians to get together and play – irrespective of age or ability. The band entered the National band championship in 2016,7,8, winning ‘Most Promising Band’ in 2017.

In 2022 the band joined up with St James’s Brass and Reed band to form the St James’s JD Academy. This new band would act as a feeder band for the main band, and provide new and current members an opportunity to learn or become more proficient on an instrument.

This new band performed in the National band championships in 2024, winning ‘Most Promising Band’, ‘Best Choice Piece’ and coming second in their section.

Musical Director: Eva O’Toole

  • Musical Director St James’s JD Academy (2022-present)
  • Musical Director Jack Dempsey Concert Band (2016-2021)
  • ABRSM – Teacher. Education & Development, Music Teachers Education Course (2019)
  • RIAM – IAYO, Orchestral Conducting Course (2012-3)
  • Musical Director (2006 to 2016) and Woodwind Instructor of The Tallaght Festival (1998 to 2004)
  • Woodwind Instructor of The Phoenix Youth Band (2002-2004)