One Day One Choir (ODOC) is a simple global project for peace which taps into the uplifting and harmonious power of collective singing to unite people in their communities on Peace Day, Sept 21st, and to get them to think about unity and peace. Peace in themselves, their homes, their schools, workplaces and the wider world.
Back in 2014 I set up One Day One Choir. I am a learning specialist and writer and have travelled the world making BBC radio programmes about the power of music and community. A choral singer for many years, I was fully aware of the powerful benefits of singing together and wanted to tap into these as part of the project.
Did you know for example that when we sing together our hearts begin to beat in the same tempo, that our physical health and mental well-being improve markedly and that we feel more connected with, and close to, those we are singing with? Singing communally has also long been a positive part of holding communities together and uniting them in a social and healing way, as well as being something which literally anyone and everyone can join in with and which can be great fun.
The project is really easy to be part of as One Day One Choir is widely inclusive and accessible. Anyone, anywhere can join in either by dedicating something they are already singing (or rehearsing) on the day, or by creating a performance anywhere, however short or long, with an appropriate focus on peace. One song with the right intention is enough to sign up!
Since its launch in 2014, thousands of singers in offices, professional and community choirs, faith groups, schools, cathedrals, care homes, concert halls, opera houses and even prisons in more than 50 countries have 'signed up to sing’ on Peace Day, and the numbers are growing. This year we are aiming for more than a million voices, which is not bad for a humble website and visionary idea that runs completely unfunded and relies mainly on the enthusiasm and support of those who love singing and want more peaceful lives and communities.
The current aim is to create a huge 'global choir for peace' by 2018 (the centenary commemoration of WW1) with millions of voices and ‘choirs’ linked through ODOC, setting their focus and intention on increasing unity and peace in their communities. What happens after that? Well, who knows - but one thing we know right now is that in order to do that, we need help!
Because this is a word of mouth - or social media - project, we’d love you to help us please. To share our story and our website, to talk, email, tweet and Facebook about us and to help inspire as many people as you can to take action in their communities on the day and come on board. The project is great for schools as it ticks SMSC boxes for OFSTED and Global Goal 16, as well as being an inspiring and positive start to the term - and it works well in offices and with community groups as well as for more formal choirs.
Maybe you sing in a choir or know a group, maybe you know others who do. Maybe you’d like to be a ‘local ambassador’ in your area...
One Day One Choir has a growing number of ‘ODOC ambassadors’ who have started to create local hubs this year. For example:
in Truro there are singing events throughout the day and massed choirs in the Cathedral organised by one enthusiast;
in Manchester the main Community Choir is gathering other groups for a lunchtime sing;
in York Minster and Coventry Cathedral the evensongs will be dedicated to ODOC and peace;
in Lisbon the Cathedral will be filled with choirs for the 3rd year running;
in Sutton one headteacher is bringing the borough's schools on board;
in Guernsey Choirs of all kinds will be gathering on the island;
the Central London Mosque are ‘coming on board in their own way’;
the Liberal Jewish Synagogue are keen to take part and
We need peace and unity in our communities now probably more than at any time in recent history and this simple inclusive project provides a platform for people to raise their voices for it in September. Please help us to reach as many people as possible and to get millions of voices singing in harmony for peace.
We’d also be very keen to hear from anyone who could help us to ‘upgrade’ our website please, and improve on our tweeting!
Other ideas and support are also welcome. Find out more, start sharing and sign up to sing at www.onedayonechoir.org, Twitter @OneDayOneChoir #onedayonechoir
...or contact me, Jane Hanson FRSA directly at email@example.com
Jane is the Director One Day One Choir. If you think you could help her, please do get in touch with her via her MyRSA, or using the above platforms.