MIV2018 Update!

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69th Intervarsity Choral Festival Melbourne 2018 – MIV, Summer of ’69

11th March marked 10 months to go until the Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival 2018.

“Ten months?” I hear you say, “But that’s still ages away!”
My reply to that is both yes and no.

To an excited chorister, especially one who missed out on the Perth IVCF 2017, it does feel like a while. An Australian autumn, winter, spring and Christmas/New Year must pass before it arrives. Plenty of local choir action must, too, including individual exciting projects. (Yay!)

But to a MIV Committee member, ten months is not very long at all. In my role as Co-Social Secretary, we’re aiming to have a social gathering at least every couple of months, if not sooner. My workload is going to increase as the year goes on and time grows shorter, but it’s not starting at nothing. The next social event is planned for three weeks away!

On the 10-months-out date, I spent my morning helping out at a Fundraising BBQ at Bunnings. It was fun, if rather hectic at times. I was the bread-woman – I ensured our tub of bread slices was kept stocked fresh, I took the bread slices (often one in each gloved hand) over to the BBQ-man and held them while he placed the sausage (with or without onion in) then handed the full lot to the customer, who’d already paid our cash-woman.

It was sort of fun – we took turns putting our own music through some speakers, leading to more than one occasion of singing along to songs!
We joked that it was “democracy sausages without the election“. 😛 (link to photo on MIV2018 Facebook page – go on, like them while you’re there?)

It was also quite tiring. Not so much the fact that I was on my feet for a good four or so hours doing things, but the social-cognitive stuff was what wore me out more I think. There were times when I was performing the routine described above repetitively without a lull. It was grab bread, listen to order, remember it, turn to BBQ, fill order, turn and locate person, repeat. Sometimes I’d have to multitask if two people wanted one sausage each (so that’s one order per hand) – which could be interesting if one wanted onion and the other didn’t! I got used to repeating, “one with, one without” and “two with” and “two without” and so on. Phew!

I’d do it again though. 😉

Another thing that happened on the 11th was the release of the latest MIV Mailout, to coincide with the ten month mark. In it we introduced our musical director!

(Drum roll…)

Our Musical Director is Patrick Burns. Here’s his bio, courtesy of this link from the MIV Facebook page – I would have embedded it properly, but it doesn’t seem to like that given there’s a picture with it.

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“Patrick began his conducting studies whilst completing his under-graduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium. He is an alumni of the Symphony Australia conductor development program which has seen him participate in workshops across Australia with Orchestra Victoria, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and also in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia under the guidance of Christopher Seaman, Johannes Fritzsch, Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Baldur Brönnimann.

From 2010 to 2014 Patrick was the Music Director for the Monash University Choral Society and from 2011 to 2014 was also the Music Director for the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he was made a life member of MonUCS for his contribution and dedication to the choir. He is currently the Chief Conductor for the Ipswich City Orchestra in Queensland and has held the position since 2008. Patrick is also the Music Director for the Melbourne-based artistic collaboration, XL Arts.

In 2015 Patrick travelled to Bulgaria to participate in the Blue Danube Opera Conducting Masterclass with the Bulgarian State Opera. As a result he was invited to conduct a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Bulgarian State Opera House in Rousse. He was also recently awarded the Jury’s Special Prize at the 2015 Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition. In 2016, Patrick returned to Bulgaria to conduct performances of Verdi’s Nabucco Puccini’s Turandot and also a symphonic concert with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 Patrick was also awarded the Orchestra’s Prize in the Black Sea Opera Conducting Competition held at the National Opera Theatre of Romania in Constanta.

We’re thrilled to be working with Pat to bring you a gorgeous repertoire and an exciting festival experience.”


It’s so exciting. There’s plenty of more cool things to be announced or in the pipeline to happen…why not sign up to the mailing list at miv.org.au to keep informed?

Perks of being a Club Vice-President


Hi all.

I’ve been busy lately! It’s my final week of my first subject for uni this year. This week I learnt that presentations are boring when it’s just listening to everyone summarise article appraisals! 😛

Today I’m doing something much more fun. It’s my uni’s O-Week, you see, and as I’m the Vice-President of the choir I’ve been planning for the big event: Clubs and Societies’ Festival, the day where all the clubs and societies at uni get to show off and try to attract members. I’m excited! It should be fun. I like meeting new people and singing is my jam, so let’s get into it. 😀

Another perk is being able to have advance knowledge of what my choir, LaTUCS, will be doing this year. We’ve got some pretty cool ideas in the pipeline.

Being V-P has been really good so far. It (and my other role on the MIV Committee) have been teaching me a lot about: how meetings work; delegation and collaboration; and event organisation, among other things. I love singing. Choir is such a great way to relax and have fun with friends, to meet new people who share interests with you and generally have a good time.

I imagine I’ll be quite tired by the end of today though…See you on the other side!

Choral Festival Planning (MIV!)

Hi all. As I’ve mentioned before, I sing in my uni choir, meaning I’m part of the Australian Intervarsity Choral Societies Association. Now that Perth Intervarsity Festival is over, things become a bit more local for me and others. For me, that means preparing my uni choir for O-Week and hopefully some new members to sing with in the busy year ahead. I’m excited about other things too though, because next year in January, the annual intervarsity Choral Festival (IV) is in Melbourne, my city. I’m on the committee, co-organising social stuff with a friend.

It’s interesting, having an insight into behind-the-scenes stuff. Including secret things that I can’t say yet because there are timelines for release, haha. 😉 What I can say is that as of today (the 11th of February), the Festival is 11 months away!

One thing we’re focusing on at the moment are grants, so we can make this IV the best it can be. I say we, but most of the work for the grants (and it is a lot of effort) is actually being done by a couple of good friends. I just have to signal-boost when I need to. With that in mind, could all of you click on the link below? It’ll take you a few seconds and is really easy. Just click, say “connect now”, scroll through the list to find Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival 2018 and click “support”. It’s that simple. If you want to know more, then click “View Details”.



Promotion has officially begun. It’s the ’69th IV in an Australian summer, so the theme (particularly for social and promotional stuff) spins around that – a bit of a hipster/ hippy vibe. Including things like this:

If you’re interested in learning more about the Festival, or AICSA (see if there’s a uni choir or two near you!), there are links below. Sign up to keep up-to-date! I’ll keep you posted, too.

Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival (MIV) 2018 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MIV2018/
And website: http://www.miv.org.au/

AICSA website: https://www.aicsa.org.au/
And website link about choirs (with handy map): https://www.aicsa.org.au/index.php/about-us/our-choirs/


PIV2017 – 68th Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival

Remember in July last year, I talked about going to an Intervarsity Choral Festival (IV) in Canberra? Well, it’s on again, in Perth this time. It is after all an annual thing. While I forgot to publicise it via the blog before it began (oops), I’m following along as it happens (being unable to attend myself).

concert, the culmination of all their hard work going on right now, will occur on the 29th January in Perth, Australia. If you’re going to be there, or you know someone who will be, come along! You won’t be disappointed. Click on the link for details!

Follow along with what’s going on at:

Also, check out the website of the Australian Intervarsity Choral Societies Association (AICSA). They’re comprised of uni choirs across Australia and the annual get-togethers are the Intervarsity Festivals like Perth and Canberra, which help promote communication and collaboration between member choirs. AICSA support member choirs and the choral music scene at universities across Australia in various ways. Click on the link to find out more – and for the eagle-eyed among you, yes the header photo does have me in it, as it’s from Canberra IV 2016.




2016 Soundtrack

One post I forgot to schedule before the end of last year was a “Songs of the Year” post. So here it is.

2016 was a big year for me musically. I joined my uni choir (finally!); I performed in a few concerts; and music once again spoke to me when emotional times – good or bad – occurred. Overall, 2016 was a good year for me. Below is a list of songs that spoke to me this year. They weren’t the only songs that did so, but they were the more important ones.


Brave (Sara Bareilles): This song is about having the courage to speak up for and be true to yourself.
Fight Song (Rachel Patten): This one’s about following your dreams and believing in yourself.
Both of these songs have become mini-anthems for me. They’re part of a list I put on when I want to pump myself up. They act as reminders and goals.


Three Little Birds (Bob Marley):
This song has been on my playlist for a while. As part of the Windrush performance, I learnt a four-part arrangement of it. It’s by itself on the list instead of with the others below because our first time of learning the arrangement in rehearsal was just after the whole British EU referendum kerfuffle. Some of us had spent time pre-rehearsal congregating and asking each other, “What the heck??” So learning the song was a reminder for me to take a deep breath and look forward.


Into the Night” CIV Performance Songs (Parry, Chapman, Winikoff, Bruckner): See the link for a full list of the songs in a Review of our concert.
Ah, CIV – 67th Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival in Canberra 2016. It was a very fun time and I enjoyed myself immensely, making new friends and socialising, rehearsing intensely and then performing in the concert at the end. Such a blast. The 68th Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival 2017, is happening right now in Perth and while I’m only able to participate virtually this time, its coming has brought back a bunch of memories. CIV16 was a highlight of the year for me.


IV/AICSA Songbook Songs: These songs I also learnt because of CIV. They’re songs that are standard songs throughout the IV movement, the sort that are pulled out at campfire nights and social IV-chorister gatherings. Some are quite risqué, while others are not (but even those ones often have risqué versions!). I’ve listed some of my favourites below.

Laudate Nomen Domini (Christopher Tye): The “anthem” of the intervarsity choral movement. I learnt this song before CIV but didn’t understand why it was so special until I heard & saw what it being an anthem meant, at the actual IV. There’s something special about a song that everyone in that group (of people from uni choirs across Australia) can sing (with actions) at the drop of a hat – or rather, at the calling of “one, two” and humming/being given your starting notes. My knowledge of Laudate is irrevocably tied to those first experiences at CIV. Magic!
Pastyme with Good Companye (Henry VIII): No special feelings attached to this song exactly, I just like it. It’s got a good tune and good words too.
Since First I Saw Your Face (Thomas Ford) and Come Again (John Dowland): I like these songs not so much for their tunes (though they’re nice) or lyrics but because of the memories attached to them. Hee hee. 😀


Windrush songs – especially The Boat, Dynamite (both original compositions by Geoffrey Williams) and more. The songs were set in the 1950s-60s but are applicable to today in various ways.
The Boat is a story of migration; travelling far away from home on a one-way trip, leaving behind all the narrator knows to start afresh in a new and strange place.
Dynamite tells of some of the hardships of being a new immigrant, especially when one is young and black Caribbean, coming “face-to-face-to-face” with prejudice from the police and others in the 1960s.


The Longshot (Megson): “You take a long shot, if that’s all there is. Put it in a very safe place, where your doubt can’t get to it. ‘Cause once you’re that certain all hope is gone, a long shot is better than none.” That’s the chorus of the song. I found the song when I was a bit pissed (off) and searching for musical distraction on US election day. It helped re-centre me. It’s such a beautiful song.


There Shall A Star (Felix Mendelssohn), Fantasia Christmas Carols (Vaughan Williams), and other “Little Bit Like Christmas” songs. I loved singing in that concert – as well as the camp before it and so on. It was a great way to round out the year.


If you’re curious, here’s the link to my first soundtrack post and here’s another, to 2015’s soundtrack. I’ve already started building my list for 2017. 🙂