Meet “Pub Choir” – the brainchild of Astrid Jorgensen and Meg Bartholomew which has taken off Australia wide, and now the world, selling out shows and breaking down stigmas around “choir”.
Anyone who’s attended one of the shows knows it is worth all the work. Jorgensen and Bartholomew started Pub Choir in 2017 as a way to make music with their friends.
Jorgensen had been working as a choral director around Brisbane for about five years, and was reminiscing with Bartholomew about their time at the University of Queensland, where they studied music together.
“And then it was basically ‘just add beer’,” Jorgensen says.
“We were just brainstorming about how we could convince our friends to make time for choir, because all the research is out there – it’s really good for you to sing with other people.
“It just became a question of how can we convince them to do it, because I think once you’re in the room and singing with other people, it feels amazing … So alcohol, for better or worse, was the catalyst.”
The two put a post on social media, created a Facebook page and managed to convince a venue in Brisbane to let them take over a bar so people could sing a song for 90 minutes.
Seventy people turned up for the first event – “A big number for a new thing”, Jorgensen says. They now have 1500 regulars turning up each month in Brisbane, and are selling out venues in Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin, New Zealand and Adelaide. Just this month they were booked at Splendour in the Grass music festival, and sold out shows in Los Angeles & New York City.
“Pub Choir” also collaborates with other performers and have worked with Sam Cromack from Ball Park Music- who helped sing at one of their performances, and also Patience Hodgson from the Grates. In September they will be teaming up with Ben Lee & Friends with tickets on sale soon- be sure to get on the waitlist!
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