The Australian Intervarsity Choral Societies Association
(AICSA) is a non-profit organisation which represents university choirs
, and is responsible for maintaining the schedule of annual choral festivals. AICSA was officially formed in 1973, though its member choirs have been associated to varying degrees since 1950, when the first Intervarsity Choral Festival
(IVCF) was held by the Melbourne
University Choral Societies (MUCS & SUMS). Choir festivals have been held every successive year to the present day, and in addition small festivals (called "minifests", or even "microfests") are also held from time to time.
The years between 1950 and 1973 saw the inclusion of choirs from several other states. By 1973 the annual choral festival had participants from twelve choirs, representing all six states and the Australian Capital Territory. 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. By the mid-1980s a regular cycle of rotation had been established to hold the choral festival in each of the state capitals and Canberra once every seven years. At present, the only state capital not represented in the regular cycle is Hobart, which last hosted the fiftieth festival in 1999, although the Tasmanian choir is currently able to support small "mini-festivals".
Since its formation AICSA has worked to support the IVCFs and its member choirs in their activities. It has offered this support as an advisory body for its members, and as a national face for the Australian intervarsity choral movement. AICSA has also established resources for the use of its members, such as a library archive of all works held by AICSA choirs, and the AICSA Online initiative, through which a specialised aicsa.org.au domain was created to offer a consistent point of contact for its members.
Services and Resources
Part of AICSA's responsibilities include maintenance of a set of resources for its members. These resources include:
- National Music Library Catalogue - a catalogue of all current music held by each member choir.
- AICSA Online Initiative - a standardised web address and committee email redirections in the aicsa.org.au domain.
- Erato - the official newsletter of the AICSA movement, theoretically published 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 each IVCF. At this meeting representatives from all member choirs come together to discuss matters and give direction to the AICSA Committee.
- 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 its members.
- Communications - above all, AICSA exists to maintain, strengthen, facilitate and promote communication on a national basis between its members.
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 making up the majority. The choirs are generally also open to anyone else (AICSA choirs tend to be non-auditioned, though one current member society is a faculty-based choir) and there are a good number of non-student members, including university staff and many people not associated with the universities in any way.
Current member societies and their external links:
- Adelaide University Choral Society (AUCS), Adelaide.
- Australian Catholic University, St Patrick's Campus Choir, Melbourne.
- Australian National University Choral Society (SCUNA), Canberra.
- Flinders University Choral Society (FUCS), Adelaide.
- Macquarie University Singers (MUS), Sydney.
- Melbourne University Choral Society (MUCS), Melbourne.
- Monash University Choral Society (MonUCS), Melbourne.
- Musical Society of the University of Technology Sydney (MuscUTS), Sydney.
- Perth Undergraduate Choral Society (PUCS), Perth.
- Queensland University Musical Society (QUMS), Brisbane.
- RMIT Occasional Choral Society (ROCS), Melbourne.
- Sydney University Musical Society (SUMS), Sydney.
- Tasmania University Musical Society (TUMS), Hobart.
- Peter Campbell, Laudate: The First 50 Years of the Australian Intervarsity Choral Movement, Canberra, PC Publishing, 1999.