March 22 each year has been designated by the United Nations as World Water Day.

The UN describes the event as “a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future”.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. 22 years later, World Water Day is celebrated around the world shining the spotlight on a different issue every year. This issue is also the theme of the annual UN World Water Development Report which is launched on World Water Day.

In 2015, the theme for World Water Day is ‘Water and Sustainable Development’. It’s about how water links to all areas we need to consider to create the future we want.”

Anthems for Water

My Choral Vivace series includes two pieces that have close links with World Water Day and that could be considered as anthems for water and the integral place this precious commodity plays in our daily lives.

Sing, Sing for water

Unfortunately, not all the inhabitants of planet earth have guaranteed access to reliable supplies of fresh, clean water. In response, various aid agencies have been established across the globe to address this issue, and numerous events take place to raise funds in support of this important work. One such event is Sing for Water.

Sing for Water is a series of mass choir events, taking place annually, that was co-founded in 2002 by renowned composer, singer and musical director Helen Chadwick and the Thames Festival to provide a spectacular concert as part of the Thames Festival program, while raising money and awareness for the charity WaterAid.

In 2005, a Sing for Water event was held in my home city of Brisbane and I was so inspired by what I learned at a meeting of the organising committee that I decided to write a special song about water. The result was Sing, Sing for Water, which was selected for performance by the massed choir and published two years later by Edition Peters as part of Choral Vivace.

Water for Life

The following year, 2006, Brisbane was part of the World Water Day celebrations. The theme that year was ‘Water for Life” and, following the success and popularity of Sing, Sing for Water, I was commissioned by the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mining to write a second water-themed piece. Water for Life, the song, was preformed on that day by tenor soloist Greg Moore backed by members of the Queensland Youth Choir.

More recently I have reworked the piece as one for SATB choir with a shorter tenor solo section in order to make it more accessible as an anthem for choirs. This version was released at this year’s ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City in the Choral Vivace Mixed Voices Anthology 2. It is also available separately as EP 7915.

Find out more

I would encourage you to delve a little deeper into each of these two very popular themed works if you’re not already familiar with them. You can find out more about Sing, Sing for Water and Water for Life by clicking on the links and you can also have a listen to them on SoundCloud.