Queensland Conservatorium graduate Astrid Jorgensen is bringing music to the masses with her wildly successful project, Pub Choir.
Astrid believes that everyone can sing… and Pub Choir is the proof. Her ethos is simple: ‘no audition, no solos, no commitments, no sheet music, no worries’.
The talented singer and choral specialist graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium with a Master of Music Studies (Vocal Performance) in 2011, after winning the Griffith Award for Academic Excellence.
“The Con was an amazing place to study,” she said.
“I loved being with other people who were equally passionate about music, and I had some fantastic teachers.
“It also gave me a chance to get some contemporary performance experience – I don’t think I could lead Pub Choir if I didn’t have that training.”
After several years leading choirs around Brisbane, she hit on an ingenious way of spreading her love of singing – hosting an informal sing-along at a pub in West End.
“I did a single Facebook post and about 70 people turned up and sang their hearts out,” she said.
“It really exceeded our expectations, and the atmosphere was electric – it was like the public were just waiting for permission to sing.
“Since then, it’s gone crazy – we regularly sell out 500 tickets each month.”
In the past year, the project has gone from strength to strength, and now has a regular home at popular Brisbane music venue, The Triffid.
Each month, hundreds of strangers pack into the pub, and Astrid spends 90 minutes teaching them a song in three-part harmony. Many of the performances have gone viral on YouTube, including a rousing rendition of The Cranberries hit, Zombie, that has been viewed 4.6 million times.
“I’m always on the lookout for our next song – I’ve got a playlist of about 100 pieces that I keep adding to,” she said.
“The only song I’m ruling out is Bohemian Rhapsody – it’s never going to happen!”
In between Pub Choir gigs, Astrid conducts the Gold Coast’s Home Of The Arts (HOTA) choir, who recently performed at Festival 2018 as part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
She is also taking Pub Choir on the road next month, with events around Australia, including the Festival of Voices in Hobart and Winterfest in Adelaide.
Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Professor Scott Harrison said Astrid was one of many graduates making their mark on the local music scene.
“We’re delighted to see one of our alumni sharing the joy of singing with such a wide and appreciative audience,” he said.
“Astrid is one of many talented musicians and teachers making their mark in the industry after receiving a world-class music education at the Con.
The next Pub Choir event at The Triffid takes place on 30 May.