Rates of Pay

ANCA Recommended Rates of Pay for Choral Conductors and Accompanists 

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. 

Preamble

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 efficiently run their choirs for the benefit of all singers and the choral scene in Australia as a whole. 

Degree of Experience Level of Training/Qualifications
Basic Intermediate Advanced Post Grad


No tertiary qualification in Music


Degree Level Music qualification OR
teacher trained, with some conducting PD

Degree Level Music qualification AND/OR Music Teacher trained, with at least annual Conducting  PD


Qualified in Conducting
including Masters, DMA, other qualifications
Limited
LB
$30 - $45
LI**
$60 - $95
LA**
$80 - $100

         NA
Moderate
MB
$40 - $60
MI*
$80-$100
MA*
$90-$120
PGQM*
$120 +
Substantial SB
$50-$75
SI*
$80-$110
SA*
$120+ or salary
PGQS*
$150+ or salary
    

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.

MATRIX SQUARE DESCRIPTORS

LB No tertiary music qualification, with very little experience in conducting and rehearsing a choir, with no tertiary music qualification
MB No tertiary music qualification, with regular experience in conducting and rehearsing a choir, with no tertiary music qualification
SB No tertiary music qualification, Much with much experience in conducting and rehearsing choirs of more than one type over at least ten years, with no tertiary music qualification
LI Degree level qualification in Music and/or music teacher trained, with some conducting PD, Very with very little experience in conducting and rehearsing a choir,
MI Degree level qualification in Music and/or music teacher trained, with some conducting PD,  with regular experience in conducting and rehearsing a choir
SI Degree level qualification in Music and/or music teacher trained, with some conducting PD, much experience in conducting and rehearsing choirs, probably of more than one type over at least ten years
LA Degree level qualification in Music and/or music teacher trained, with regular conducting PD over at least 3 years, Very little experience in conducting and rehearsing a choir,
MA Degree level qualification in Music and/or music teacher trained, with regular conducting PD over at least 3 years, Regular experience in conducting and rehearsing a choir
SA Degree level qualification in Music and/or music teacher trained, with regular conducting PD over at least 3 years, Much experience in conducting and rehearsing choirs of more than one type over at least ten years
PGQM Regular experience in conducting and rehearsing a range of choirs, Masters level qualification in choral conducting
PGQS Much experience in conducting and rehearsing choirs of more than one type, Doctoral level qualification in choral conducting

 

What is a good Choral Accompanist?

ESSENTIAL

  • 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

HIGHLY DESIRABLE

  • 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+