Australian Intervarsity Choral Societies Association

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Overview Aims/Goals Services Events
Members Committee Constitution Trust Fund


The Australian Intervarsity Choral Societies Association (AICSA) is a non-profit organisation which represents University Choirs based throughout Australia. AICSA was officially formed in 1973, though it's member choirs have been associated to varying degrees since 1950, when the first Intervarsity Choral Festival (IVCF) was held by the Melbourne and Sydney Univeristy Choral Societies (MUCS & SUMS).

The years between 1950 and 1973 saw the dawning of the annual IVCFs, and the inclusion of choirs from several other states in the event. By 1950 the annual choral festival had participants from 12 choirs and 7 states. At this time the Intervarsity Choral Council (formed in 1968, and consisting of various elected choristers from participating choirs) formalised the relationship between the choirs by forming AICSA.

Since that time AICSA has worked to support the IVCFs and it's member choirs in their activities - it has offered this support as an advisory body for it's members, and as a national face for the Australian Intervarsity Choral Movement. AICSA has also established resources for the use of it's members, such as a library archive of all works held by AICSA choirs and the AICSA Online initiative through which a specialised domain was created to offer a consistent point of contact/reference for it's members.

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Aims / Goals

The aims of AICSA, as stated in it's consitution, are as follows:

  1. To encourage and promote co-operation between choral and musical societies of Australian institutions of tertiary education through -
    1. the regular publication of a newsletter
    2. the holding of an annual choral festival
    3. the maintenance of a catalogue of music held by its members, and
    4. the holding of meetings of the Australian Intervaristy Choral Council (AIVCC)
  2. To generally encourage and further the performance of, and interest in, choral music by Australian tertiary students, through an interchange of ideas and music, and through the discussion of mutual problems.

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Services and Resources

Part of AICSA's responsibilites include maintain a set of resources and servives for it's members. These services include:

  • National Music Library Catalogue - This catalogue lists all current music held by each member choir
  • AICSA Online Initiative - This is a service whereby each member choir has access to a standardised web-site address and email redirections for it's committee in the domain.
  • Erato - Erato is the official newsletter of the AICSA movement, and is published 3-4 times a year. Erato contains articles and reports from all of the AICSA members.
  • AIVCC - The annual "Australian Intervarsity Choral Council" meeting, usually held at the IVCF. At this meeting representatives from all member choirs come together to discuss matters and to give direction to the AICSA Committee for the next term.
  • A National Representative - AICSA can act as a national representative for the combined choirs, or for single members, when the need arises.
  • Consultion/Advisory services - The AICSA Committee is available to offer advice for and/or investigate issues involving it's members.
  • A Communications Conduit - Above all, AICSA exists to maintain, strengthen, facilitate and promote communication on a national basis between it's members.

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The centrepoint of the AICSA momvement is the annual Intervarsity Choral Festival (IVCF). This festival cycles through the capital cities of those states which have AICSA member choirs and takes place over two weeks usually during June/July or January/February. During the two weeks of the IVCF, AICSA members choirs join together to prepare and perform one or two major concerts, often involving the local State Orchestra and accomplished soloists.

Alongside the intense rehearsal and performance schedule runs an equally gruelling social schedule involving pub nights, the Annual Revue, the Academic Dinner and catching up with the many interstate friendships that are forged within the Intervarsity Choral Movement. The number of attendees at the IVCFs ranges between 100-250 or so choristers, made up both of current AICSA choristers and past members returning just for the IVCF.

Apart from the IVCFs there are the occaisional mini-festivals which are held by various states. These festivals are held to celbrate events such as major choir anniversaries, and tend to be smaller than the major event though there will still be several interstate participants who will attend. Mini-festivals rarely have large-scale major performances, and tend to run for shorter periods (ie 3-7 days).

Alongside these 'major' events the the AICSA movement has a fantastic social climate - it's a rare occaision that a week will go by without a chorister somewhere travelling interstate. It is not unusual for an interstater to suddenly turn up at a choir's rehearsal, camp or other event. This constant interstate 'shuffle' helps include new choir members in the national movement before they've had the opportunity to attend an IVCF.

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AICSA Members are choirs from universities around the country. These choirs have a broad membership base, with undergraduate and postgraduate students from all types of degrees (the least frequent type of degree probably being music!) making up the majority. The choirs are generally also open to anyone else (AICSA choirs are un-auditioned as a rule) and there are a good number of non-student members, including university staff and meny people not associated with the univerisities in any way.

The current list of member choirs is available from the home page via the Members link. From that page there are links available to the member choirs' own home pages.

Member choirs pay a yearly levy to AICSA to fund the national AICSA newsletter, Erato, and to cover general administrative costs. This membership fee is based on the size of the choir. It is possible for a choir to become a Constituent Member of AICSA provided it is based at an Australian University and has choral music as one of it's major aims (for more information on the requirements of joining refer to the AICSA Constitution). Furthermore Associate Membership is available to choirs from universities outside Australia. If your choir would like to enquire further about joining AICSA please contact us - our contact details are available at this site.

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AICSA is run by a committee of volunteers who are elected for a 12-18 month period.

  • The Executive comprises of a President, Treasurer and Secretary all living in the same state. Other committee members can live elsewhere.
  • the Librarian (advises the individual society librarians on how to find scores, maintains the AICSA catalogue of scores held by our individual member society)
  • the Archivist (manages the extensive collection of archival material and recordings of the 50 years of the AICSA movement) and
  • the Erato editor (Erato is the national magazine of the association).

The current committee contact details are available from our home page via the Contact Us link.

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The AICSA constitution formally sets out the fundamental aims and goals of the association, and the requirements for the running of the association. Details of membership requirements and benefits, the annual meeting of the Australian Intervarsity Choral Council (AIVCC), the AICSA committee structure (roles and responsibilities) and the running of the Intervarsity Choral Festivals (IVCF) are all set out.

The constituition is available online, to access it follow this link.

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Trust Fund

The AICSA Trust Fund exists to support the Intervarsity Choral Festivals (IVCF) by offering a guarantee against loss for the choir(s) organising each festival.

The fund was established in 1977, with a grant made by the 26th Intervarsity Choral Festival (Held in Sydeny in 1975). Since being established, successful festivals have been encouraged to donate a portion of their profits to the Fund for the benifit of future festivals.

The fund is maintained and administered by the Trustees. The Trustees' responsibilites include ensuring that the fund is healthy through the donations from festivals and investment, and processing applications made by festivals for guarantee against loss.

The AICSA Trust Fund is formally described in the Trust Deed.

The trust deed is available online, to access it follow this link.

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