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9 January 2014

Survey: Community Choirs in Australia

Survey: Community Choirs in Australia

Almost all Australian community choirs sing Australian music, and over a third make a conscious effort to include Australian works in their repertoire, according to a recent survey by the Music in Communities Network. The survey was responded to by about 200 community choirs. 20% of these characterised themselves as a classical choir, while 14% sang multicultural, 16% mixed, 13% folk or traditional, 10% popular or contemporary and 5% religious repertoire. Most choirs surveyed had been in existence for less than 10 years, but 'classical' choirs were more likely to have been running for over 20 years.

An interesting finding had to do with age categories: 18-24-year-olds were the smallest group of all (6% of singers), which suggests that participation in choirs drops after school, then gradually increases. The most active participants were 55-64-year-olds (24% of singers). In an earlier survey of community orchestras, also conducted by the Music in Communities Network, different age categories were represented more evenly.

70% of choir members are women and 30% men, and over 80% of all groups are mixed choirs.

The survey also included questions about choir leaders' education (almost two thirds have a degree related to music), salary, auditions (20% of choirs audition their members, 8% require music reading skills), budgets (a quarter of choirs operate on an annual budget of under $1,000) and government support (57% received some form of support from their local council).

More details about the findings are available on the Music in Communities Network website.

Further links

Community Choirs in Australia - key findings and full report (Music in Communities Network)
Community Orchestras in Australia (Music in Communities Network)

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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