Recent Performances

In the last few years, Australian Intervarsity Choral Festivals have performed in all the major capital cities with orchestras, soloists and conductors of international reputation. Below is a brief description of some of the concerts the festival choir has performed in. Many of these concerts have since been broadcast numerous times on ABC Classic FM.

In 2000, the festival choir performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Dr Roy Wailes conducted the concert. In 2001 another work was commissioned. This time the work was by Bruce Stewart, and performed in Bonython Hall at Adelaide University with conductor Christopher Kiver. In the same festival, Timothy Sexton conducted the chorus and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in the Thebarton Theatre, in a performance of Bernstein’s Mass.

In 2002, Ben Macpherson OAM was involved with his seventh IV as a chorus master or conductor, when he was chorus master for the performance of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, which was conducted by Graham Abbott.

In February 2003, AICSA put together a choir of mainly male voices from around Australia to perform Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder in at the Perth Concert Hall with the Australian Youth Orchestra. This was the gala closing concert for the Perth International Arts Festival. However, the actual AIVCF that year was in Canberra in July, where the chorus performed Monteverdi’s Vespers.

In 2004, the festival choir returned to Perth, again for the Perth International Arts Festival, this time to perform Dvorak’s Stabet Mater with the Prague Chamber Orchestra in the Perth Concert Hall.

In 2005, the festival choir presented a concert in the newly built BMW Edge at Federation Square in Melbourne, featuring the Howells Requiem, Standford Magnificat, Pärt Magnificat and a commissioned work Flesh to Stone by David Cassat, all conducted by Dr Richard Swann. The second concert in the festival was conducted by Jonathan Grieves-Smith in the Melbourne Town Hall, where Kodaly’s Missa Brevis and Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor were performed.

In 2006, the Intervarsity chorus presented two concerts in Adelaide. The first concert in the festival was a performance of Fanshawe’s African Sanctus at the Grainger studio, conducted by Timothy Sexton. The second concert was a performance of the Handel oratorio Israel in Egypt, conducted by Graham Abbott at Adelaide Festival Theatre with the Adelaide Art Orchestra.

Festivals

Our centrepiece event is the Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival, also known as IV or AIVCF. This annual festival cycles through the capital cities of those states that have AICSA member choirs. The festival takes place over two weeks, usually during the summer or mid-year university holidays. During the festival, our member choirs join to prepare and perform one or two major concerts, often involving a local symphony orchestra and accomplished soloists and conductors.

Every year, university choristers from around Australia (and some even returning from overseas!) come together for the long-awaited two weeks of the AIVCF. Over a day or two, up to 250 choristers descend on the city and then head straight to camp. The camp lasts for the first week of the festival and involves day-long rehearsals bringing everyone rapidly up to date with the music for the concerts. Alongside the rehearsal schedule runs an equally gruelling social schedule, including events such as a theme party, a university revue and a film night of archival films from previous IVs.

When camp is over, the IV moves to the city, pushing the billeting capacity of the local choirs to the limit. The second week of IV sees more rehearsals, and frequently the major concert of the festival. Social activities in the second week include a formal ‘academic dinner’ featuring toasts, awards, jokes and songs, the post-concert parties (PCPs) and the recovery barbecue where choristers say their goodbyes until the next time.

Apart from the AIVCFs there are occasional mini-festivals, which are held by various states. These festivals are held to celebrate events such as major choir anniversaries, and tend to be smaller than an IV, although interstate participants are invited. Mini-festivals rarely have large-scale major performances, and tend to run for shorter periods (e.g. 3-10 days).

Alongside these ‘major’ events, we have a fantastic social climate. It is not unusual for an interstate visitor to turn up suddenly at a choir’s rehearsal, camp or other event. This constant interstate shuffle helps include new choir members in the national movement before they have had the opportunity to attend an AIVCF, and provides its members with a network of friends that extends right around the country.

Being part of an AIVCF is generally held to be a fantastic experience to be repeated time and time again. Indeed, there are many participants in IVs who are no longer attending their local choir but who still return once a year to be part of the music and the festivities.

MonUCS 2016 April Concert

Our Choirs

Our choirs are based at universities around the country, with students from all types of degrees making up the majority. Our choirs are also open to non-student members, including university staff and others not associated with the universities. With 10 choirs spread across the country, there’s sure to be a choir to suit your taste. Take a look below.

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From the President’s desk

Hi everyone. I’m really excited to bring you this new-look website. Laura, David and I have been working hard behind the scenes to determine how AICSA can best serve its members. There are some big changes still to come, and while we make this transition from old to new we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to get in touch with us on Facebook or via our Contact Us page.

Yours in Laudate,
Alex Lewis