The Australian Rugby Choir is a male choir open to all men who enjoy singing. Members come from all backgrounds and are of all ages. In fact, a range of ages is highly desirable in order to provide a rich mix of talent, voice pitch, background and varied musical preference and appreciation.
Ideally, members should be active, attend rehearsals regularly and participate in a majority of gigs and singing before Brumbies matches. With a dynamic repertoire and a strong emphasis on quality four-part harmony singing, it is not feasible to have casual and/or 'seasonal' Members.
The Choir currently has around 60 active members with a target of close to 100 and we invite potential new members to join by 'trying us out' at one of our regular rehearsals. Further information is available from the and in our "2019 Welcome Booklet". If you like your experience and wish to join then a membership application form should be completed and brought along to practice. Potential new members are entitled to be fully aware of the official policies.
The choir sings from a repertoire of about 50 core songs ranging from traditional Welsh hymns, opera, rugby songs, Christmas carols, popular, comedy and novelty songs. Members are expected over time to learn the core songs with minimal reference to a written score. A selection of music from the current song book is listed here. A number of members use electronic tablets to assist in learning their songs. Advice about this can be obtained by liaising with existing tablet users.
Unless directed by the Committee the appropriate Choir uniform must be worn at all official public performances without exception. This is in order to promote the proper image of the Choir. The Choirs' standard performance uniforms are as follows:
For ALL events: Gabardine fawn colour trousers, polished black shoes or boots, black belt,
- 1- Black blazer, White shirt, ARC tie, + for outdoor events Hat and logo embossed rain jacket.
- 2 - No blazer, Blue chambray shirt, ARC tie, + for outdoor events Hat and logo embossed rain jacket.
- 3 - No blazer in summer, Blue polo shirt, + for outdoor events Hat and logo embossed rain jacket.
- 4 - Brumbies matches - either of options 2 or 3 (as directed by the Committee) but with a Brumbies Cap in lieu of the normal broad brimmed Hat.
Occasionally the Committee may suggest an alternative uniform combination. Always check the Member Calendar before an event.
- The Choir uniform black blazer, blue chambray shirt, blue polo shirt (with white piping) and gabardine taupe trousers are available from Workin' Gear,Shop 51 Kembla Street, Fyshwick ACT 2609, Tel: 6280 5885.
- The ARC blue and gold striped tie, blazer pocket ARC logo insert, logo embossed rain jacket, and camel colour broad brimmed hat are available from the Choir Uniform Co-ordinator. (Choir members can find his details using this MemberLink)
- The white shirt (worn with the blazer) is a normal collared business shirt of Member choice. It must NOT have a button down collar.
. Members can click here for uniform costs and availability
Email and the ARC Website are the standard means of communication between Members, the Committee and the public. Members without access to email are encouraged to form a 'buddy' relationship with another Choir Member who has email access. The President and the Secretary also aim to keep all Members informed of the outcomes of Committee meetings and other developments during announcements at the weekly Choir rehearsal. Each week there is also the "Warble" a newsletter of choir news and events. This is emailed to all choir members and registered 'Friends'. Archive copies and the most recent edition is available on the website in the 'Member area'.
Cost of Membership
The cost of being a member of the Australian Rugby Choir is in two parts:
(A) an annual fee of $30 payable in July, or on a pro-rata basis for new members joining later in the financial year, and
(B) fees for weekly practices, paid in advance in block payments. The amount is $9 per session x 20 weeks (approx.) for each half year commencing after the Winter break in July and the Christmas break in December/January. In the case of known or likely absences, there is an option for payments to be made by instalments with a minimum payment for a period of at least 4 weeks ($36).
All payments are to be made by direct credit to the choir's bank account, with the member's name and suitable reference included. The account details are here.
These fees cover the Choir's annual running costs and members can seek full details if required.
Additional to membership costs are those of your uniform, as outlined above.
Choir Members provide support and fellowship for each other. With respect to Mens Health issues the following links are provided Member Support and DVA MensHealth
Each year, normally at the choir's annual dinner in early December, The Patron's Award is presented to someone in recognition of "outstanding service to the choir". There are no restrictions on eligibility for this award.
The Choir's foundation Patron, David Lewis OAM, inaugurated an annual Patron's Award in 2005 and donated a silver tray as the "Trophy". The Choir's current patron is Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ian McLean AM,CSC, who was formerly the Director of Army Music, prior to which he was the Musical Director of the RMC Band, Duntroon. Ian is also a well-known identity in Canberra music circles.
Each year the committee appoints a Returning Officer from ARC ranks to conduct the selection. All members are asked to nominate the person they believe to be most eligible for the Award. The awardee will be the person receiving the most nominations. In the event of a tie, the award will be shared for that year.
The name of the winner is engraved on the perpetual trophy. The winner holds the award for the next twelve months.
2005 Alastair Crombie, 2006 Mick Rice, 2007 Andrea Clifford, 2008 Frank Bergersen, 2009 Neil Fleming,
2010 Geoff Ford, 2011 Rick Dresser, 2012 Peter Cole, 2013 Stephen Wedd, 2014 Karen Da Silva, 2015 Eddy Stevens, 2016 Russell Grainger, 2017 Keith Jones and Albert Orszaczky, 2018 Colin Keith, 2019 Frank Bergersen.