We raised $6600+ for the Climate Council
MISSION CLIMATE! met our goal of bringing music and science into harmony, with ‘inspiring’, ‘informative’, ‘wonderful’ the most-used words in responses from presenters and audience. All the money raised has gone directly to help sustain the Climate Council’s provision of authoritative climate information.
Founded in 2013, when 20,000 citizens donated $1 million through crowd-funding within a week of the Federal Government abolishing the Climate Commission, the Climate Council still relies on public donations to produce reports, webinars and public forums. See www.climatecouncil.org.au.
Community pride in supporting the Council seemed to unite everyone who filled the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C), where A Chorus of Women is in residence. Led by MCs Janet Salisbury from Chorus and ABC Radio’s Lish Fejer, we began by honouring Earth. We then set out through the anxiety of watching and waiting, listening to calls to action and inspiration from singers, scientists and people directly affected by climate change. We arrived together at possibilities for wisdom and regeneration that seem ripe for activation, given the way audience voices leapt to join the singing in The Reconciliation music from A Chorus of Women’s mythic climate change drama, The Gifts of the Furies, which finishes with a 21st century setting of the 2500-year-old Hymn to Gaia.
Climate Councillor Professor Will Steffen gave the first of several brief, moving reflections on the personal experience of living with knowledge about climate change.
The MISSION CLIMATE! program included music from Canberra choir The Cyrenes, Nitya Bernard Parker and friends, Kirsten Duncan, Maartje Sevenster, and a fine instrumental ensemble as well as selections from A Chorus of Women’s large repertoire of songs – all directed by Johanna McBride.
Violinist and conductor Rowan Harvey-Martin introduced her vision for The Blue Planet Orchestra in a moving tribute to her daughter and other young people who carry worries about climate change because their parents’ generation is not yet acting responsibly for the long-term future. A related message came from Abuera Uruaaba, a senior lawyer in the Pacific Republic of Kiribati, where climate-linked rises in sea level threaten the island home of future generations.
Singer and environmental consultant Dr Maartje Sevenster said she felt ‘uplifted by the shared understanding and experience’ of the evening. CSIRO senior research scientist Dr Nicky Grigg spoke of the delight of many a Chorus event since she brought her voice and clarinet to our climate change drama in the 2007 program of National Science Week.
The evening included a short video on the plight of the Great Barrier Reef, featuring Climate Councillor Professor Tim Flannery and Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie. Graeme Kelleher AO, the first Chairman and CEO of the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, described MISSION CLIMATE! as ‘an inspiring event’. ‘I hope its message will spread quickly through our community,’ he said in relation to the need for action that requires governments to replace short-term priorities with wise, forceful action to stop climate change.
Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the ACC&C, gave a personal reflection as a member of the inter-faith group Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Thanking the Chorus for the inspiring and moving evening, he said: ‘When music and the arts join with science and the sacred the whole is always more than the sum of the parts.’ Quoting the ancient writer of Ecclesiastes who observed that a threefold cord cannot easily be broken, he said Mission Climate was just such a threefold cord ‘and a great encouragement’.
Writing to Chorus after the event, Professor Steffen thanked us for the ‘wonderful event’ and reported this lasting impression: ‘I was struck by how we humans have a very long tradition of using singing as a way of expressing our feelings about the rest of the living world, and about the Earth itself,’ he said. ‘And although earlier societies and indigenous cultures around the world could not have had the modern scientific understanding of the Earth System, their songs had not only the word "Earth" in them, but also showed a really deep understanding of the Earth as a single, complex system and that we humans are embedded in it. Our scientific understanding has come really late! And the songs composed by the Chorus do a wonderful job of flow effortlessly from these earlier pieces of music, and remind us of the very long relationship we've had with the rest of the Earth System around us.’
Click here to read a selection of the many comments we received after the event.
Click here to see photos taken at the final rehearsal and on the night of the fundraiser.
Click here to download a program.
Anzac Eve Peace Vigil 2016
On Sunday 24 April 2016, we are continuing the tradition of gathering on the eve of Anzac Day to lament and remember not only the soldiers but the victims of all wars and violence. Please join us at any point, on top of Mount Ainslie, in Remembrance Park or at the Forecourt of the Australian War Memorial. See the flyer and Anzacpeacevigil.org for more information. Go to our events page for more information about previous Anzac Eve Peace Vigils.
CHORUS IN RESIDENCE AT NATIONAL CULTURAL HUB
Our singers and musician friends at our new home base, at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
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