Community Choirs in Australia: Entry to Participation

Audition and Reading Skills

About one in five choirs audition their members, which means the vast majority have an ‘open door’ policy. The number of choirs where ‘singers must be able to read music’ is only 8%, in 57% reading is ‘useful but not required’, and in 36% of choirs ‘singers don’t need to be able to read music’ (Figure 10).

CCIA figure10

The auditioned choirs are far more likely to require singers to read music (Figure 10). In a third of all auditioned choirs reading is ‘required’ in a further 60% it is ‘useful’, while in non-auditioned choirs the number where reading is ‘useful’ is almost the same (56%) but almost half do not require singers to read music (43%). Only 1% of non-auditioned choirs require singers to read music.

Participation Fees

The vast majority of community choirs involve some fee for participation (79%). These range from an annual membership fee or contribution through to weekly, term-based or activity-based fees.

About one in five choirs have no membership or participation fees and a similar number of choirs fall into the under $100, $100-$250 and $250-$500 categories. Approximately 10% of choirs have participation fees of over $500 per year. (Figure 11)

CCIA figure11

The fee per rehearsal is between $5 and $10 for approximately a third of the choirs with fees, $10 - $15 for a further 17% and 10% pay more than $15 per rehearsal, on average. Approximately 43% have a fee so low that it probably isn’t collected or calculated on a weekly or rehearsal basis, these annual fees are under $5 per week on average.

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