Name of Intervarsity choral societies' magazine. Successor to Diapason.
In a letter to all the Australian Intervarsity choral societies, dated 3 July 1970, Jane Philcox of MUCS stated that it had been decided to commence “an Intervarsity Choral Societies Newsletter, and I have been appointed (read “dobbed in”) as its editor”. Thus, what would become the official organ of AICSA (when that organisation came into official existence in 1974), to be known as Erato, was born. Philcox’s first task was to request that any items of general interest (that is, “scurrilous gossip”) concerning what choirs were doing for their concerts, changes to club policies, personal correspondence, and anything else, should be sent in and would be welcome. The first deadline was set for 17 July 1970, and the first issue appeared one week later on 24 July, thus setting a total turnaround record of just twenty-one days from the first official notification of the decision to publish to the issue hitting the streets, a record that has never been equalled since (for it would then cease to be a record!). That first issue, a slim volume of three pale orange foolscap leaves, roneoed back-to-back – thus making a total of six pages – appeared to suffer from a slight crisis of confidence over its name. Actually titled the “Inter-Varsity Choral Societies Newsletter”, the editorial noted that
It has been suggested that this newsletter be called “ERATO”, that being the name of the Greek Muse of erotic poetry. (No other reason being given, or, apparently, considered necessary!). If anyone has a better idea …
Clearly, no-one had, as it has remained Erato to this day. The Newsletter contained reports from MonUCS, NUCS, QUMS, SCUNA, SUMS, TUCS and MUCS, and a short independent contribution from an anonymous member of MUCS. In issue three, dated 23 October 1970, thanks was given to “Robin Love of NUAUS and her secretary Eryn who have done all the duplicating (including typing of stencils) for us”. NUAUS had apparently provided assistance, for its first three issues at least, by way of preparation and copying of the embryonic newsletter. Erato no.7 (July 1972) was the first issue to have the now familiar tubular ‘erato’ logo, while issue number 10 (May 1973) was the first to have a pictorial cover. Issues under editorship of Bill Collopy and Simon Johnson are collectors' items due to the appearance in them of an AICSA comic strip known as Captain Monux.
The draft constitution of AICSA, published in Erato no.13 in 1974, further formalised the role of the magazine in stating that Erato should be published a minimum of four times each year and should endeavour to contain
- news of member societies;
- results of referenda;
- reports of officers of the Association; and
- other articles of interest.
Many of the individual choral societies, too, have their own newsletters, details of which may be found on the individual choir pages.