Editor’s Note: Meet-a-Ram is an occasional VCU News series about the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who make Virginia Commonwealth University such a great place to live, work, and study. dynamic.
Bobby Jorgenson, senior plumbing specialist for facilities management, is known around campus as a friendly face and a helping hand. After hours, Jorgenson is best known for his musical talents.
He plays in four bands and runs his own production company. The best known of his musical groups is the Bart Chucker Band, while he has been playing with Mozo the longest – over 23 years. Besides performing around town, he also performed at events at VCU. Jorgenson is a guitarist, bassist and vocalist.
What made you start playing music and why did you keep doing it all your life after that?
I remember my dad playing guitar from an early age, and they actually gave me my first guitar when I was 3. My dad got a new one for Christmas and they gave me his old one. It had a big crack in it, so basically a play toy I’m sure, but it was my first guitar.
I still remember it. And they both said I was singing before I could speak.
It’s just a lifelong passion. Just the emotion and expressiveness that you can feel while playing or listening to music, so that’s always been a big part of my life.
You have been part of the Mozo group for over 23 years. How has your music evolved over time and what has allowed you to play together?
[The band members] have been friends for years. The drummer and guitarist have been playing music together since they were in elementary school, so I was lucky to be part of this band. But we’ve just been good friends for over 20 years on and off the stage.
I’ve definitely improved technique-wise and it’s all going. It got better over the years. Playing newer music and listening to newer music helps turn things around and being involved in writing new music is a great thing as well.
In addition to playing in four bands and working at VCU, you also own your own sound company. What made you want to start it?
Mainly to be able to pay for the sound equipment to be able to play. It’s kind of a necessary evil to help pay for equipment and bills and keep me working when I don’t have an actual show I’m playing.
What is your biggest inspiration for writing new songs?
A little bit of everything. The people I meet, the events happening around the world – ideas can come from anywhere.
What do you enjoy about working at VCU as part of the facilities management team?
It’s a great group of people to work with. We help each other, even with personal things around the house and stuff like that. If my boyfriend has a plumbing problem at home, I’ll be happy to help my work friends here. It’s a very tight-knit group of people.
My mother and stepfather worked here for years, so it’s also a family affair.
You have performed in several VCU events, what does it mean to you to combine your musical life with your work?
Oh, it’s like a dream come true. If I can do my music in my regular job, that’s always a bonus. And I also like to play for my friends and colleagues. Many of them had heard me speak of [my music] for years and I never got to see myself play until I came here and played VCU, so I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Do you have future goals for your musical career?
At some point I would like to make it my full time job, but it will probably be after I retire [from VCU].
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into music?
I always say never give up, but always have something more to fall back on. I had a lot of friends who thought they were going to have a career just playing music and never had any other career to fall back on. [Another] The most important thing is to find the right people to play music with.
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