Leading our choir
Jacqueline, or Jaq (but never Jacqui!) has been directing choirs for over 20 years.
Starting while at University in Edinburgh, Jaq has directed groups from 6 singers up to over 100 in pop, gospel and barbershop genres in the UK, Perth, Cairns and Brisbane. She is the founder and current director of Soul Song Choirs, Viral Choir and Sound Avenue.
Jaq is passionate about getting people singing, regardless of musical experience or ability as she knows how much fun it is and how good it is for body, mind and soul.
She believes that songs are stories to be told and is happier when her singers perform with passion and conviction than with technical perfection. She will work hard to get a great sound out of her groups but never at the expense of the singers’ enjoyment (well, nearly never…..!!)
Up until 2020, directing choirs was a part time passion but, having lost all her event work in March 2020 due of the COVID pandemic, she launched the Viral Choir and moved into full time choir direction.
Jacqueline is a natural presenter and regularly delivers workshops on singing and creative thinking as she works to inspire others to find their voice. She has also run numerous ‘pub choir’ style pop up singing events at festivals and conferences
Our thanks to Erin, who lead us from 2019 when our initial Choir Director, Robert Dryden, had to step down due to other commitments. All the best Erin for your move to the cooler climes of beautiful Tasmania.
Since graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium, Erin has worked as a professional actor, musician, composer, arranger and music director for most of Brisbane’s theatre companies.
Erin experimented with many different musical genres, including grunge, ballet composition, children’s workshops, wedding music, soundscapes, voice-overs, and many things a capella. Her first choir “Qwired” ran from 1996 – 2000, and had anywhere up to 50 members, many performances, including Gospel at the Symphony, plus a self-funded CD titled Things Go Round.
Erin’s latest projects include a book of 50 original rounds for choirs, a book of forty haiku arranged for choirs and contributed by her Good Company choir members, a book of “warm” songs for choirs containing contributions from other Brisbane community choral conductors, and a book of original children’s songs. She runs three choirs, and does vocal arrangements of pretty much anything.
Erin performs with The Bessies, a high energy originals band.
Erin has a passion for sharing and teaching music, and for shared musical experiences, and relishes the challenges of developing new ways of making music with people of all ages and abilities.
The choir’s first Music Director, Robert Dryden, knows how to have fun with music, as well as shape our sound and get us moving to the groove.
He has been involved in choirs and choral singing for more than 20 years! A Music and English teacher by trade, Robert has been heavily involved in community groups in Melbourne and now in Brisbane, promoting the joy and love and singing and providing opportunities for all those who love to sing!
Not afraid to incorporate movement with singing, Robert loves to take his choristers on a musical journey so they can find their voice and learn the skills to use it properly!