Choirs and singers across the whole world got together to send a message of peace and unity on International Day of Peace. A million people were involved in One Day One Choir, a global choral initiative started in 2014 by singer Jane Hanson to mobilise the power of singing to unite people globally.
A flash mob in Trafalgar Square, London, led by choir leaders Jeremy Haneman and Tom Morley, brought together singers for an impromptu performance of songs about peace.
Among the singers was 3FF’s intercultural choir the Mixed Up Chorus, which has been involved in One Day One Choir since its founding. Eli Tamir, Mixed Up Chorus member and coordinator, said: “Music is a universal language that spans cultures and can be a powerful force for understanding. Singing on Peace Day is our way of showing that there is always more that unites us than divides us. If we can sing together, we can live well together.”
In the rest of the UK, singing started in the morning and continued throughout the day in a huge range of venues and settings – from community halls to Canary Wharf, from playgrounds to prisons, faith centres, concert halls, offices and open spaces. Bradford, Coventry, Truro and Lincoln cathedrals and York Minster dedicated their evensongs to One Day One Choir, and choirs in Cornwall, Leeds, Manchester took part. Groups, schools and colleges from 40+ countries, including Iraq, Pakistan and Iran, joined in.
Jane Hanson, founder of the project – who was at the Trafalgar Square event – created the initiative with the vision of mobilising the ‘biggest choir in the world’, using the power of singing together, for unity and peace by 2018 – the 100th anniversary year of the commemoration of WW1.