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DFSM Instrumentalists


Military Instrumentalists provide musical support for all aspects of military life, including ceremonial parades, graduations, ship ceremonies, etc. They also perform at government functions and public performances, both at home and overseas.


Potential candidates are required to complete an application form, online,  through this website. The dates for the competition are advertised in the national papers and on this website. Applications only being accepted on these dates. All correspondence with applicants will be by email for the duration of the competitions.

Who we want

The Defence Forces is looking for motivated and fit, qualified personnel who would relish the challenges offered by a career in military music. Musicians must be multi-talented performers with experience in several musical styles, and must be able to adapt to all types of performance situations and to diverse audiences.

Professional Qualifications

The Defence Forces recruits skilled musicians only. Competitions are held periodically for available positions in the various Defence Forces Bands. In the past, successful applicants have typically been experienced, professional musicians, many of them having a degree in Music Performance.

Age Requirements

Candidates must be not less than 18 years of age and under 29 years on the date of application.

How to Join

Applications are now being accepted.

The closing date for applications is 2359hrs on 18th June 2023

Terms and Conditions >>

Online Application>>

Interview & Audition

Candidates who are deemed eligible will be asked to attend for Interview. At audition candidates will be required to play two (2) contrasting pieces. The audition will also include a sight reading test. Candidates called for interview may produce any of the following to the Interview Board.

Musical Certificates (Degree, Diploma or Grade)

Testimonials (musical or otherwise)


The candidates who finished at the top of the competitions order of merit will then be offered a place in the Defence Forces, as an Instrumentalist. Successful candidates, although posted to a particular band and location, will, from time to time, be required to perform with any of the Defence Forces School of Music bands or elements of those bands.


All new entrant Instrumentalists will be required to undergo a Military Induction course.

Unit Assignment

Instrumentalists will be assigned to Defence Forces Band Units according to the needs of the Defence Forces. Band Units are based in the following locations:

  • Collins Barracks, Cork
  • Custume Barracks, Athlone
  • Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin
  • Read more about Military Bands