There’s a new community choir in Brisbane and, after just four sessions, it is attracting a regular crowd of 300 plus. The secret? Rehearsals happen in a pub, anyone is welcome and choir leaders Astrid Jorgensen and Megan Bartholomew believe everyone can sing.
Since April, Pub Choir, as it is formally called, has been gathering on the second Thursday of every month at Loft Bar, 100 Boundary St, West End. Each session is dedicated to a particular song, which is posted online the day before. So far, the group has learned “Time After Time” by Cindy Lauper, “Catch My Disease” by Ben Lee, “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus and “Slice of Heaven” by Dave Dobbyn.
“You can familiarise yourself with the song,” reads a post on the Pub Choir Facebook page. “But you don’t need to learn anything. We’ll learn every note together on the night, and we’ll provide lyrics.”
Jorgensen teaches the song in three-part harmonies. Participants begin by choosing a range in which they feel comfortable, then learn their part by ear, by repeating Jorgensen. Next, there’s a break for drinks, followed by three performances, the third of which is filmed and posted to costal media. Entry costs $10.
“Pub Choir is all about community, and the experience of singing together! Come and feel pure joy, and try not to let one song stop you from livin’ your best life!” states a post on Facebook.
Jorgensen and Bartholomew met at university, where they studied music together. “Singing is something that we do to make ourselves happy but, when other people are around, we get a bit scared I think,” Jorgensen told the ABC. “The sheer number of people who come to Pub Choir, I think anonymity really helps people to feel relaxed, like there’s no way you could be heard personally.”
Pub Choir’s next session will take place on Thursday, 10 August from 7pm.