Conor McCarthy is a Limerick-born pianist and musical director based in Wexford, Ireland. Conor holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree (B.Mus.Ed) from both Trinity College Dublin and DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama as well as holding Diplomas in Piano Performance with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) and the London College of Music (ALCM).
Conor is heavily involved in musical theatre and actively works as a musical director and pit musician with many musical societies and schools across the south-east area. Conor is currently musical director with Gorey Musical Society, Carnew Musical Society and North Wexford Musical Theatre.

In 2022 Gorey Musical Society received 7 nominations, including best ensemble (winner) and best overall show in the Association Of Irish Musical Societies awards (AIMS) for their production of The Sound of Music, in which Conor was musical director for.

In 2023 Gorey Musical Society once again received 7 nominations including best overall show (winner) and Conor’s own individual nomination for best musical director for their production of West Side Story.

Conor co-founded and is the musical director for the group North Wexford Musical Theatre. The company have staged three shows to date. Their first production [Title of Show] was one of the first shows performed in front of a live audience after the pandemic, earning the group an AIMS special adjudicator award in 2022. The following year, the company yet again earned themselves an AIMS special adjudicator award for a magical moment in theatre for the final scene of their production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!

Conor’s credits as Musical Director include: The King and I, The Wizard of Oz, Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat, Calamity Jane, Hairspray, [Title of Show], The Sound of Music, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Rent, The Addams Family and Michael Collins A Musical Drama.

Guys & Dolls

Musical director Conor McCarthy’s arrangements were excellent. He managed to create that old school Broadway sound with the strings and reeds and the percussion was so good, it drove the entire show. There was a great brass sound from the orchestra on the Latin inspired “Havana” and on “The Crapshooter’s Dance”, which was a highlight of the show. His work with the chorus was especially grand, I loved the harmonies on “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat. “Luck Be a Lady” was also great, the canon and harmonies and strong male voices made it jump off the stage and on “The Oldest Established”, there was some very impressive acapella from the male performers.’

[Title of Show]

Laugh out loud for Larry! Conor McCarthy’s unobtrusive presence in the corner of the stage with his keyboard was a real crowd pleaser. Not only had Conor the ambitious task as acting MD, chorus master and one-man orchestra but he also had his own little part, who says men can’t multitask! Although on saying that Larry did become loudly intrusive and highly indigent when he was not included in the cast photo shoot and I have to admit this was a real laugh out loud moment for me! Conor also pulled laughs with his many priceless facial expressions and his very dramatic collapse onto the keyboard after the ‘Dream Sequence’. Mr. McCarthy’s work in this production overall was immaculate, the 2- and 4-piece harmonies were stunning and all solo and group work excellent, as was his playing.

Guys & Dolls

Carnew Musical Society triumphed with this classic musical with superb musical direction by Conor McCarthy…

The Sound of Music

Musical Direction was in the capable hands of Conor McCarthy. Conor not only conducted, but played keys also, assisted by Caoimhe Comiskey. The music for this particular show is exquisite and Conor insured it stayed in that category. All Principals, Chorus and Younger Members were well drilled and beautiful harmonies, solos and choral work emanated from the stage. The orchestra were all on top form with well- known musicians such as Nicky
Bailey on Percussion, Colette Cleary on Double Bass and Ann Wickham on Flute, all adding their professionalism to the ten strong players in the pit. A special mention for the work with the Children, they were perfect.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!

‘The cast were thoroughly rehearsed in their music and delightfully accompanied on-stage by Musical Director/Pianist, Conor McCarthy, who seemed completely at home in the spotlight. His comedic episode with the highly talented violinist, Maria Ryan, was worthy of note. Their playing throughout the show was excellent. This theatrical style of having the MD behind the performers requires confidence from both MD and performers, and they were clearly very much in touch and in tune with one another.

West Side Story
April 2023

Musically it was spot on, and musical director Conor McCarthy conducted a fifteen-piece orchestra that clearly relished Bernstein’s electrifying score. Mr McCarthy’s orchestration and interpretation had a contemporary vibe to it, it was hard to believe this was written in the fifties. His work with the ensemble was also quite spectacular, eliciting some fabulous harmonies and especially power from them on “Jet Song”, “America” and “Tonight (Quintet)”.

The Addams Family
November 2023

And what a good job, Musical Director, Conor McCarthy, had done in thoroughly preparing his chorus with fine harmonies and a robust sound. Principals were similarly capable vocally, and the orchestra, led by Conor on keyboards, gave a fine display of musicianship, with good tone and tempi throughout.

September 2023

The Orchestra were positioned on stage with the cast under the upper-level balcony with the Musical Director Mr Conor McCarthy over down stage left so he could clearly see the performers, play keyboard and conduct. The NWMT Band worked superbly as a group, very good sound, and did not overshadow the soloists . I loved the idea of the live band on stage with the performers. It solidifies the set and everyone is as one together. This band although small had a huge impact on the success of this production. You were hidden which did not take away from the performers – subtly in the background yet all around. One particular note that I must mention is the seamless music transitions between scenes . There are not many on stage set changes required in Rent but where a significant change was required the music carried on , seamlessly leading us to the next scene where the trust between MD and performers was obvious. The music started – and the cast were ready. Superb timings. This worked very well and I commend Mr McCarthy and his band and also for the polished and professional sound produced throughout the show. A huge Orchestral undertaking with beautiful sound and a team who worked exceptionally well together. Well done.

September 2023

I must specifically draw attention to and mention the Ensemble Singing in this show. It was powerful. The sound that emulated from the stage for the larger numbers was out of this world. From “Another Day” with Mimi, Roger and the Company, to Sante Fe, Christmas Bells, La Vie Boheme A & B, “Contact” with Angel and Company, the glorious “Seasons of Love” Full company for the Opening of Act 2, “I’ll Cover You” Collins and Company, “Seasons of Love B” and Finale B – Full Company was stunning.

The sound that projected throughout the Theatre was electrifying. I wanted the Company to come on again and again and just sing such was the magnificent sound created in all the above numbers and indeed throughout the show. There is a cast I have been told of less than 40. This cast sounded like a cast of 200. Again I found myself with tears in my eyes at the Company’s rendition of “No Day But Today”. I wanted to be able to press “Repeat” button. This and the Finale B I did not want to end.