Membership of the Australian Rugby Choir is open to all men who enjoy singing. We seek to have a diverse range of members, to provide a rich mix of talent, voice pitch, background and musical preference.
We expect our fellow members to be active – attending practices regularly, learning new songs added to our repertoire, and participating in most of our gigs, including singing before Brumbies matches. To maintain the quality of our singing, it isn't feasible to have casual or seasonal members.
The Choir currently has around 40 active members but we hope for more, and invite potential members to try us out at one or more of our weekly practices. Those then wishing to join should complete a membership application form and bring it to practice.
Potential new members should be aware that membership involves a number of obligations:
buying and wearing the choir uniform,
paying membership and practice fees,
participating if possible in annual general meetings of members and the
nomination and election of office holders,
considering helping in one of several volunteer roles needed for the
accepting choir policies, notably at present about COVID-19 precautions.
In order to promote the proper image of the choir, the appropriate uniform must be worn at all our public performances, unless the Committee directs otherwise. The standard performance uniforms are:
for all events taupe-coloured gabardine trousers, polished black shoes or boots, black belt, and one of the following:
1 - black blazer, white shirt, ARC tie, plus for outdoor events, broad-brimmed hat and logo-embossed rain jacket
2 - no blazer, blue chambray shirt, ARC tie, plus for outdoor events, broad-brimmed hat and logo-embossed rain jacket
3 - no blazer, blue polo shirt, plus for outdoor events, broad-brimmed hat and logo-embossed rain jacket
4 - for Brumbies matches either of options 2 or 3 as directed, but with a Brumbies cap instead of the normal hat.
The 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 insert with ARC logo, logo‑embossed rain jacket, and camel-coloured broad-brimmed hat are available from the choir's Uniform Officer.
The white shirt worn with the blazer is a normal collared business shirt of a member's choice – but it must NOT have a button-down collar.
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 $10 per session x 20 weeks (approximately) in each of the half-years from February to July (when we usually have a winter break of a few weeks) and from July to December. To provide for expected absences, there is an option for payments to be made by instalments with a minimum payment for a period of at least 4 weeks ($40).
Payments are to be made by direct credit to the choir's bank account, with the member's name and a suitable reference included. The account details are here for members.
These fees cover the choir's annual running costs, of which members are informed in reports made each year by the Treasurer to the annual general meeting.
Annual general meetings
As an incorporated association, the choir must hold an annual general meeting (AGM) of members within a few months of the end of each financial year.
At AGMs reports for the previous year are presented for discussion, and elections held for the offices of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary and for other positions on the Committee.
The Committee consults members on a range of matters through the Warble newsletter and at our weekly practices, but for consideration of important matters may convene general meetings of members with formal notice of what's to be considered.
The choir depends not only on its Committee members but also on other members who volunteer to help in the following positions:·
Gig Managers and Stage Managers for gigs
Keeper of the Music
Electronic Learning Tool Master
Doorkeeper and Attendance Checker
Hall Key Holder
Editor of the "Warble newsletter.
The choir has a set of policies which the Committee members keep current and which members are expected to follow in their practice sessions and performances. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the Committee has formulated an ARC COVID‑19 Management Plan and Safety Plan. The measures taken under these plans include encouraging members to have all available COVID and flu vaccinations, making masks and hand sanitiser available at the entrance to practices, and keeping windows at the practice venue open for cross‑ventilation.
Emails and the ARC website are the standard means of communication between the Committee and members. Each week the "Warble" newsletter of choir news and events is sent as an email to all choir members, and also to the choir's musical staff and registered friends of the choir. The most recent Warble and earlier issues are accessible in the members' area of the website.
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 members informed about the outcomes of Committee meetings and other developments through announcements at weekly practices.
Choir members provide support and fellowship for each other. With respect to men's health the following links are provided: Member Support and DVA MensHealth.