RMIT Occasional Choral Society (ROCS)
Address: c/- RMIT Music, PO Box 12189, A’Beckett Street, Melbourne, VIC 8006
Mascot: RMIT, the ROCS frog
Hosted festivals: MIV2005
ROCS was founded by Sandra Uitdenbogerd in late 1999 after obtaining an RMIT Union Arts grant to compose, perform and record a mass setting Missa Prima, when Faye Dumont’s RMIT concert choir refused to sing the complete work. ROCS first performed carols at the RMIT Bundoora campus in 1999, and the choir’s first major concert in May 2000 consisted of the Missa Prima and Michael Winikoff’s Alleluia, with guest choristers from Box Hill Chorale and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic.
After conducting some items in the May 2000 concert, Sarah Chan took over from Sandra Uitdenbogerd as conductor, collaborating with the Engineering Music Society orchestra in December 2003 to present Fauré’s Requiem, presenting a concert of world premiéres with the Young Melbourne Composers concert in June 2004, and staging Purcell’s opera The Fairy Queen in 2005. After a short stint of being conducted by Catherine D’Cruz in late 2005, Philip Legge took over in 2006, performing a short bracket of Monteverdi and collaborating with MUCS to perform Orff’s Carmina Burana. In 2007 ROCS launched the [:Choral Composition Competition:Occasional Choral Composition Competition], performing a dozen premières of new works. The winning entry, Michael Winikoff’s This is Australia was performed at [:SIV2008:Sydney IV] the following January.
The choir has always retained a small but enthusiastic membership that has regularly participated in festivals from [:AIV2001:2001] onwards. In 2005 ROCS contributed to the hosting (with MUCS and MonUCS) of [:MIV2005:Melbourne IV], with five of ROCS’ members on the IV committee; in [:BIV2007:2007] ROCS choristers won both the [:Women's Four:women’s four sculling trophy] and the Bob Gilbert Memorial Joke prize.
The choir has from its inception had a strong tradition of encouraging the composition of choral music both from within and outside its ranks, and to 2009 had premièred approximately 60 new musical works.
See also: ROCS Office Bearers, [:ROCS history of compositions:compositions performed and premièred by ROCS], and the [:Choral Composition Competition:ROCS Occasional Choral Composition Competition].