Rates of Pay
ANCA Recommended Rates of Pay for Choral Conductors and Accompanists April 2017
These pages are a response by the National Council and administration to the regular requests to National office about how much conductors and accompanists might be paid. In formulating this advice, ANCA seeks to encourage and advocate for the assistance of choir organisers in remuneration for their conductors and accompanists. Therefore this document contains recommendations only as a guide for choir organisers and conductors and is not intended to be used in any other way.
The Australian National Choral Association conducted a survey of members at the beginning of 2016, looked at other organisations which have recommended rates of pay, and have prepared a rate card as a guide for use. In doing this ANCA recognises the many hours of time given by volunteers and their dedication and commitment. It is also important to remember that many conductors and accompanists use this work to gain an income, as do other artists.
The Australian National Choral Association:
- Encourages groups to pay conductors and accompanists at reasonable rates
- Encourages groups to consider their long term viability of their group. If conductors and accompanists are not paid, this may mean that it will be difficult in the long term to replace them.
- Encourages groups to consider a membership/fee structure for choristers to support operating costs (Music, conductors, accompanists) and build an expectation that being a member of a choir will involve some cost (just as playing an instrument does)
- Encourages choirs to put in place fixed term arrangements/contracts with a regular review built in with conductors to benefit the overall development of the choir
- Encourages choirs to support the professional development of their conductors and accompanists
Conducting and Musical Skills: What is a Conductor? What do they need to do to run a choir?
The following are skills and attributes you can to look for when appointing a Conductor:
- Appropriate level of musicianship
- Knowledge of Rehearsal technique
- Knowledge of the voice
- A good understanding of singers
- A thorough understanding of organisations (how to delegate, how to work in a team)
- Ability to select appropriate repertoire for the choir
- A high level of reliability and initiative
- Ability to inspire and motivate others
Competence Matrix for regular work
All rates quoted are per hour (exclusive of GST) with a minimum call of 2 hours. They are for regular work and include preparation time. One-off engagements for either rehearsals or performances, may attract higher rates by negotiation with choir managements/organisers. Naturally, any conductor may negotiate higher rates in any situation if they are able to. ANCA recognises that there is an infinite variety of skill sets and experience in conductors, there being as many ways to conduct as there are conductors. Therefore, this document is intended as a starting point guide for choir organisers/managements in their quest to more efficientlyrun their choirs for the benefit of all singers and the choral scene in Australia as a whole.
- Categories with * indicates that performance fees may be higher than the regular hourly rate
- Categories with ** indicates rate is based on minimum hourly rate for music teachers at schools (either classroom or peripatetic/instrumental)
- There is a scale in each case to provide flexibility and also to reflect varying rates of pay that already exist between different states
- Individual conductors may negotiate higher fees than recommended, in any situation, if they are in a position to do so.
What is a good Choral Accompanist?
- Excellent pianist
- Excellent vocal or instrumental accompanist
- Competence in the reading of open choral scores
- Ability to follow a conductor
- Understanding of the rehearsal process
- Ability to take a sectional rehearsal
- Language/pronunciation skill
- Understanding of how to play an orchestral reduction
Recommended Rates (all rates quoted are per hour with a minimum call of 2 hours)
- Community Accompanist Rate $30 - $45
- (this rate band reflects the ability of a modestly funded community choir to pay, not necessarily the ability and experience of the accompanist)
- Recent Graduate $70 - $80 (based on current rates of pay)
- Experienced Graduate $80 - $90
- Legend $90+