Defence Forces School of Music

The School of Music is organised as a Corps of the Army and as such it contains a Directorate, a Headquarters incorporating the Army No.1 Band and one detached military bands, namely The Band of 1 Brigade and Band of the 2 Brigade

The massed bands of the Defence Forces

Directorate & HQ

Director Defence Forces School of Music has responsibility for the overall direction of music policy within the Defence Forces. In addition to overseeing all purchases of new instruments, music and band equipment, Director DFSM has responsibility for the recruitment of new instrumentalists, the ongoing training of all Defence Forces instrumentalists and the training of pipers and drummers drawn from non-musical units outside the DFSM.


Lieutenant Colonel M.J. Armstrong (Director)

Director of Music - Lt Col Mark Armstrong


Lt Col Mark Armstrong, the current director of the Defence Forces School of Music, is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He held appointments as conductor Band of the Curragh Command (1989-2001) and Army No.1 Band (2001-2010) before taking up the position of Director Defence Forces School of Music in 2010.

Lt Col Armstrong has appeared as guest conductor with many of Ireland’s top musical ensembles, choirs and orchestras — National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Film Orchestra and RTE Philharmonic Choir and he is currently musical director of Tallaght Choral Society. As an arranger and orchestrator his work is wide-ranging and he has produced albums for Ireland’s top performers and produced many arrangements for band.
Although now mostly concerned with administrative matters such as overall musical policy and recruitment, Lt Col Armstrong has performed with military bands in the UK, Germany, Italy, Lebanon and Belgium in recent years.


Visit the careers page and find more about a career in Military Music