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.
Watch a video of us singing 'Lament' on 21 March 2023
Watch ABC news coverage of the event here:
With heavy hearts we are sharing the news of Glenda Cloughley’s death.
Glenda died peacefully at home on 21 September, with her family by her side. She had been journeying with a quite aggressive cancer since late last year.
Glenda died just a few hours after other Chorus members had been singing at the Canberra Peace Bell as we do each year on the International Day of Peace. Also, it was 6 months to the day after we sang in Parliament House in March for the 20th anniversary of the birth of Chorus.
Glenda initiated the singing of a Lament for the people of Iraq which led to the formation of A Chorus of Women in March 2003. Since then she has written much of our music including two major works – The Gifts of the Furies and A Passion for Peace/The People’s Passion.
As a Jungian analyst, cultural psychologist and singer-composer, Glenda has brought a unique creative and prophetic spirit to the peace, justice and environmental movements in Canberra and beyond. Her passing leaves a deep sense of loss. If you would like to leave a message of condolence and/or a memory of Glenda, you can do so via the form here: Vale Glenda Cloughley
We will collate your messages for her family and for publication on this website in due course.
There will be an event celebrating Glenda’s life at the Chapel of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) in Barton on Wednesday 13 December at 2pm.
Please join us in person at the ACC&C or online.
The livestream link is here. View or download the program here [coming]
It would be great if you could let us know if you are coming in person or online via the condolence link:
Vale Glenda Cloughley.
'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'
(words by Glenda Cloughley)
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 returned, with a People's Chorus of about 100, this time with support and lively interest from our politicians and permission from the Presiding Officers. We sang our Lament again, with new words by Glenda Cloughley and new music by Judy Clingan, calling on all people, including men for a commitment to our children's future. And everyone, including the men responded beautifully (see the words above).
Read more on our News page. Read the article in RiotACT 'How A Chorus of Women sang on the right side of history'.
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
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.