Ad Astra Performing Arts Scholarships

The Ad Astra Performing Arts Scholars develop their artistic talents while at the same time pursuing a high-quality academic experience at UCD. The scholars do not necessarily follow a performance-related degree course and are actively supported and encouraged to pursue academic excellence in whatever degree they choose. They can be found studying courses right across the university, from Medicine to Engineering, and Law. Performing arts scholars invest time, commitment and discipline in their artistic performance. They are supported by a dedicated academic mentor and have the opportunity to work with experienced performance professionals in seminar and workshop settings; and access expert training and masterclasses.

lukas o'brien, ad astra performing arts scholar, oboe

“I feel incredibly privileged to be able to keep my standard of classical music to such a high level, without studying it full time. I generally perform a number of gigs during the academic year, through contacts I have from days gone by from the National Youth Orchestra. Although they and I have gone different paths, and many of them now study music full time, I can still perform with them and not sound too out of place. That, for me, is so enjoyable and it shows the quality of the training and support we receive from Ad Astra. Both Dr Ciaran Crilly and Tony Carey, our Directors, are heavily invested both in terms of time but perhaps more importantly in the interest they show towards us. They are fantastic gentlemen to have involved with us, and their love for music and performance is unequivocal. As every year, I very much enjoyed the group events organised by the Academy, with the end of year barbeque being a lovely way to catch up with old friends. As we spend so little of our time in UCD due to hospital placement in the Mater Hospital, on Dublin’s northside, this event in particular was a lovely reason to venture back to Belfield!”

Lukas O’Brien
Performing Arts Scholar
Medicine, Stage 5

Evan Lynch performing arts ad astra scholar

“Being a member of the Ad Astra Academy has benefitted me hugely. Because I am studying English and drama, having a place where I can go and be mentored in drama and express myself dramatically completely helps. I know that having Kelly as a mentor is huge. I made a lot of friends through the academy. Since we spend time together in an artistic format, socially we have become very close and I am very happy to have other Ad Astra students with me. Last year we worked on a performance called ‘The War Project’. It was a bizarre experience to have worked on that in my first year because it was so fantastic. This year we had a research year so we were all given a different theatre maker in history to research and present on in front of each other – that has been hugely beneficial. The scholarship has been a huge help because I live quite far from the college so I have a lot of train and bus fees. The scholarship has literally kept me here in UCD. I am really excited to see what we get up to next year because it should be another performance year and that will be great.”

Evan Lynch
Performing Arts Scholar
English and Drama, Stage 3