A Chorus of Women began with 150 of us entering Parliament House and singing the Lament for the people of Iraq that led the 7.30 Report on 18 March 2003, when Australia went to war.
Twenty years on, the Lament has become a call for action on climate change as well as peace and social justice. We continue singing up public wisdom in our original songs, major productions and civic conversations.
On 21 March 2023 we returned to Parliament House,. This time we were welcomed when we sang our Lament again, with a call to the People's Chorus to turn Lament to Renewal.
Read the article in RiotACT 'How A Chorus of Women sang on the right side of history'.
'We give our voice to the Song of Life
We give our promise to children and Earth
We sing for peace through the power of love
So lament will turn to renewal'
Come and join the People's Chorus who will fill Parliament House with song to mark 20 years since we sang our Lament for the people of Iraq.
We will sing an Acknowledgment of Country, the original Lament with a new call by women and response from all the people, and finally The Promise. Go to our EVENT PAGE to see the song lyrics and stories about each song we are going to sing.
A Chorus of Women have been singing ever since a 'flash mob' of 150 Canberra women gathered unnoticed and unapproved in the foyer of Parliament House on 18 March 2003. As Australia joined the invasion of Iraq the women became a national and international media event by singing their Lament.
20 years on we are returning, this time with support from our politicians and permission from the Presiding Officers.
We've been singing out in the streets of our city for 20 years!
So we're having fun, tracking through our history of creating more than 100 original songs for hundreds of public events in more community collaborations than we can count. And we're planning a year of gathering everyone who's ever joined our storytelling and music-making to make a great chorus. Then we'll bring you our most moving memories and dreams.
In March, we're planning a return to Parliament House where we began (see above).
In April, we'll be atop Mt Ainslie for the 13th lantern-lit Anzac Eve Peace Vigil.
In June we'll stage a big concert to re-tell our most loved stories and sing our most loved songs.
More to come.
We invited singing women to join us in support of all women facing gendered violence. Click the image to read the article from page 3 of The Canberra Times on Saturday 17 December.
Here you can read 'We stand shoulder to shoulder today' by Biff Ward. This is one of the great women's speeches, tracing the 50-year history of hope for 'a world without rape, a wolrd where sexual predation of any kind is an inconceivable act to the present 'moment of revolution'.
A Chorus of Women was awarded the ACT Chief Minister's Rotary Peace Prize on International Day of Peace, 21 September 2022. The Peace Prize is given each year to an individual or groupwho have contributed to a more peaceful community - locally, nationally and internationally.
Senior diplomats of 40 countries and representatives of the ACT Chief Minister and the Prime Minister joined Canberrans to witness the award during a ceremony at the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell in Nara Peace Park, Lennox Gardens. Read more on our News page.
Iraqi Ambassador Dr Bassim Altomma rings Peace Bell with the Chorus
photo by Genevieve Jacobs
A Chorus of Women took part in the 2-day National Congress of Women hosted by the Women's Climate Congress at Albert Hall, in Canberra on 11-12 September 2022.
After a welcome to country by Ngambri Elder, Dr Matilda House, Glenda Cloughley introduced 'The Singing Hill' - a prophetic story about women at Parliament House from the early 1990s when Jo Vallentine was a WA Green's senator (see video in the next column).
Unknown to the dark suits shouting within
The women are returning ...
And the chanting is beginning
The humming has begun
-- from The Singing Hill by Dorothy Cameron (1990)
The Singing Hill - image Sally Blake
We welcome opportunities to collaborate with other like-minded people and organisations. We have organised conversations, singing seminars, and have prepared artistic contributions to public events, as well as our own major choral works.