AFTER HOURS is a music series featuring an eclectic range of musicians performing at iconic locations around the University of Melbourne‘s Parkville campus.

Engaging students and rekindling their belonging on campus through the magic of music

The Video and Media team wanted the University community, especially students, to be at the heart of the AFTER HOURS project. The idea aligned with  the University’s 2022 Campus Reactivation initiative and their primary goal was to entertain students and staff with homegrown talent on locations that would remind them of their vibrant campus.

The music industry faced challenges post-pandemic and the AFTER HOURS team saw an opportunity to provide financial support and promotion for the Melbourne musicians who had been isolated and unable to perform for a few years.

They sought out University students and alumni to be part of the series, as well as local acts, and pulled together an eclectic range of music including doom metal, chamber singing, instrumental covers of contemporary rock, Chinese folk music and traditional singer-songwriting. Across the six episodes, the series celebrates a diverse range of performers from First Nations, LGBTIQ+, Australian-Chinese, and other multicultural backgrounds.

The AFTER HOURS crew made full use of iconic University spaces in innovative ways. They drew on their technical expertise and collaborated with other professional teams across the University to tackle the challenges of recording performances in locations that weren’t built for loud music!  A recurring theme in the feedback for the series was people asking if the performances could be watched live, which indicated a keen desire to return to campus and experience these locations for themselves.

Working closely with APRA AMCOS (music rights management), the team negotiated an agreement that ensured episodes could be published across multiple University social media channels, allowing the artists to share their AFTER HOURS performances via their own online networks.

The social media campaign for the series garnered a huge response locally and globally. The content was shared across multiple University of Melbourne platforms, including on Chinese social media, and has achieved 1.7 million video views and 125k engagements as of mid-2023. The highest amount of engagements featured students and student artists were also heavily featured in the top-ranked posts by impressions, thus boosting their profiles and connecting them with new audiences.

“We’ve definitely seen an increased amount of engagement from people on social media and many people have reached out to say how much they loved the episode. We’ve also since received lots of enquiries saying they came across us through the AFTER HOURS episode!”

- Jin Long, Invictus Quartet

Beyond the metrics, there has also been positive feedback from within the University’s staff community, including enthusiastic praise from Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell.

AFTER HOURS was a unique initiative that opened up our campus to a unique pool of artists and showcased them to a global online audience, helping to redefine how the University connects, engages, and thrives as a post-pandemic community.

Episode 1 - Invictus Quartet

In this episode, the quartet performs a set of four works based on The Four Seasons concertos by Vivaldi. By contrasting these classical pieces alongside contemporary works, they create a vibrant, sensory feast, all set in the University’s gritty underground South Lawn Carpark.

Invictus Quartet are a Melbourne-based string quartet, formed in 2017 during their studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. The group is just as at home exploring classical repertoire as they are combining works from contemporary composers.

Episode 2 - Dr. Colossus

In this episode, Dr. Colossus performs a sacrilicious cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” on the hallowed steps of the University’s Old Quad building. The band also smash out a selection of original tunes that traverse the highs and lows of Springfield’s favourite residents: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie (and Santa’s Little Helper).

Dr. Colossus are a Melbourne-based Simpsons-themed Doom Metal band that formed in 2014 and won Best Heavy Act at the Music Victoria Awards in 2021. They also landed an Aria Top 5 Australian album spot for their full-length release (with the title taken from an infamous Simpsons line): “I’m A Stupid Moron With an Ugly Face and a Big Butt and My Butt Smells and I Like to Kiss My Own Butt”.

Episode 3 - Sophie Koh

In this episode, Sophie performs an entrancing set that spans her storied career and varied influences. She captivates our Parkville studio crew with her rendition of Chinese folk song and classic karaoke tune "Gan Lan Shu (Olive Tree) - 橄榄树", covers iconic alt-rock anthem "Creep" by Radiohead and performs her debut single "Anywhere" with a whimsical harmonica accompaniment.

Sophie Koh is a Melbourne-based singer, songwriter and composer. After winning Triple J Unearthed in 2003, Sophie has had a musical career spanning four albums, a vast array of creative projects and several awards. Her awards include Best Female Artist at The Age Music Awards and winner of Best Contemporary Song at the Independent Music Awards for her song "I Understand".

Episode 4 - Student Edition with David Knight, Stella Bridie and Sydney Miller

Get ready for a sparkling set that spans genres, voices, and emotions in this unique fourth episode of AFTER HOURS. Three artists balancing their studies at the University of Melbourne with writing and performing music chat with us about their creative process and play an original song under the moody lights of Studio Connect.

These students, all with completely different backgrounds and unique talents, are David Knight (Bachelor of Arts), Stella Bridie (Bachelor of Arts) and Sydney Miller (Bachelor of Music).

Episode 5 - Divisi Chamber Singers

In this episode, AFTER HOURS showcases the talent of chamber vocal ensemble Divisi. Filmed in the architecturally stunning Melbourne School of Design, Divisi’s voices swell, soar and fill the space with precise and powerful harmonies.

Divisi is a chamber vocal ensemble with a focus on the career development of its members, and of other Australian creatives. They strive to break down established norms of classical music through commissioning and performing innovative creative works and projects. Due to the relative lack of queer representation in classical music, they maintain a special interest in initiatives that elevate local LGBTIQ+ artists and in pushing boundaries within the largely conservative medium of classical music performance.

Episode 6 - Charlie Needs Braces

For the final episode of the series, AFTER HOURS showcases Charlie Needs Braces, the latest music project from Narrm musician Charlie Woods. Filmed on location at the brand-new Union House Theatre in the student precinct, Charlie Needs Braces fills the space with dynamic live looping, joyous enthusiasm, and blissful harmonies.

Charlie is a proud GuriNgai woman, a direct descendant of Bungaree and Matora, the lands running from the central coast of NSW along the mouth of the Hawkesbury River and into Northern Sydney. Since graduating from the VCA in 2014, Charlie has worked full-time as a professional musician, playing with several bands as well as developing her own ensembles, including Charlie Needs Braces. She has been performing around the country, touring her debut album 'Saltwater People' alongside her sister Miri. The album celebrates Charlie’s mob’s connection to Country and learning about her Aboriginal heritage.


Such a beautiful display of talent, wow!

This is stunning, such a wonderful fit of voices and space.

Amazing musicians and what a great way to showcase some of the Universities talented people and iconic places!