As we approach the centenary of the end of World War I on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, A Chorus of Women and friends are planning to tell an inspirational story for Peace on Earth Now:
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The People’s Passion
This new work will include a spoken narration that threads together music adapted from A Passion for Peace, the community oratorio that Glenda composed in 2015. The result is a one-hour work of storytelling and song in which the activities of that 100-year-old wonderful worldwide web of women are presented as an inspiring, wise parallel for today’s life-nurturing people’s movements.
In 2015 we put the 1915 International Congress of Women and the founding of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom on the public record of significant First World War events. The new version tells the women’s peacemaking mission on to the Armistice and the 2nd International Congress of Women, which was held in 1919 as the Treaty of Versailles was being negotiated.
We are thrilled that Louise Page will again sing the role of Jane Addams, Nobel Peace Laureate and President of the 1915 and 1919 International Congresses of Women. Other confirmed soloists are A J America, Jenny Sawer and Judith Clingan. A children’s chorus directed by Judith Clingan will once again remind us that the cycles of life carry on through the next and future generations.
You might like to note that we will repeat the 11 November performance on Friday 28 June 2019, the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
‘Regeneration’ is A Chorus of Women's main theme.
Our end-of-year concert in November 2016 ('Singing Regeneration') combined music and spoken reflections on the laws of regeneration, regenerating humanity, and regenerating the Earth.
In the current political climate, working towards political and cultural regeneration is more important than ever and we have been thinking about ways that Chorus can give voice more publicly to the underlying theme of regeneration that has been in the background of much of our previous work.
Please contact us if you are interested.
In 2017, we launched a new series of conversations, called ‘wisdom conversations’ to bring together people with different cultural, disciplinary and generational perspectives. We are seeking a broader, more open and deeper experience than is usually possible in public forums, or when people stay in siloes – whether they be sciences, the arts, social services, business, government, or religious, cultural and other perspectives.
Where can the green songs grow? Sharing perspectives on regeneration for our broken world17 October 2017
Our first 1-day conversation was held in October 2017 and was cohosted by A Chorus of Women and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, with 22 participants to share ideas about the great urgent ethical questions of our time. We explored the question of how civil society can ‘grow’ the sort of caring, regenerative wisdom that we know so well in our family lives but which is elusive among the noise and competing interests of politics, economics, business and organisational posturing that disastrously dominate too much day-to-day decision making.
Read our report of the October 2017 conversation.
Where can the green songs grow? Sharing ideas and dreams for our Chorus voice now18 March 2018
To mark the 15th anniversary of the formation of A Chorus of Women on 18 March 2003, we held a wisdom conversation for women who had been part of the Chorus journey. Continuing the theme of ‘Where can the green songs grow?’, we explored how our Chorus voice can contribute to the transformational changes we long for.
Early in 2017, we were approached by Michael Rabey of Canberra Rotary Club to participate in the official launch of the Canberra World Peace Bell in Nara Peace Park. This launch represented several years of work by Michael and Canberra Rotary to being a World Peace Bell to Canberra (at that time the 23rd such bell to be installed in the world and the 2nd in Australia).
Our Meg Rigby wrote a new song for this special occasion on 23 February, 10.30 - 12 noon.
Meg describes the song as a kind of mediation on peace, with a repeating chant-like refrain alternating with soaring cries for peace based on wording from the annual Peace Declarations, which have been read by the Mayor of Hiroshima each August since 1947.
Here are the words of the refrain:
Sound the bell for peace
Feel its pulse within
We sing peace with every breath
Different cries can be written/sung for different occasions. Here are the cries that we sang for the launch of the Canberra bell:
Hear the cry from Hiroshima
Let their suffering not be in vain
Let us cut the chains of fear and hate
May our love break the spell of war
Build true peace for our children’s sake
Unite the world in a call for peace
Hear the call here in Canberra
We greet this bell as a song of hope
More background about this project is on the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell website. A history of the origins of the bells is on the World Peace Bell Association website, and a history of the Hiroshima Peace Declarations is the City of Hiroshima website.
Here is a YouTube Video of our singing of the Peace Bell Song at the Hiroshima Day Ceremony held at the Canberra Peace Bell on 6 August 2018:
In 2016, we raised over $6000 for the Climate Council at our event Mission Climate!, which brought together Chorus and other musical artists with climate scientists and others to weave together music and personal reflections on our relationship with the Earth.
The scientists are now telling us that humanity’s mission to prevent disastrous global warming is becoming ‘mission critical’ and we are planning another, bigger, Mission Climate event for 2019.
We would love to hear ideas from any musical folk around Canberra who would like to be involved and make this an event that truly expresses citizen concerns and frustrations, and which cannot be ignored.
In the meantime, see ‘Give us this day’ — a moving musical expression of the beauty of our world that we are losing, with lyrics by UK poet Tony Vincent Isaacs and music by Ward Swingle.Also see ‘Wish’, a new original ballad performed by Canberra’s own Tim Hollo and his quartet FourPlay.
On Anzac Day ABC presenter and Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied tweeted 'Lest we forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)'. She was widely attacked and accused of being 'disrespectful'.
Just in time for the 2016 Australian Election — A Chorus of Women calls for the kind of politicians citizens crave!
Funny thing is Glenda Cloughley wrote the song four federal elections ago. The occasion then was a Chorus gig to encourage good women to stand for political office.
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