HMP Whitemoor, June 2018
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
Visits to Whitemoor have been a highlight of our work in recent years, and Wednesday’s workshop and performance continued this trend.
This was my third time in the same prison, and perhaps more than ever, the volunteers were struck by the spirit of openness and hospitality created throughout the day. Our team of eight singers arrived in the prison chapel at around 8.45 am for a workshop with around 30 residents. We spent the morning warming up before learning four upbeat songs in ‘What a Wonderful World’, ‘Walking on Sunshine’, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and a canon of three spirituals. These pieces were then performed in an afternoon concert alongside a swing-time arrangement of Amazing Grace performed by the volunteers. We were impressed by the exceptionally powerful and confident sound made in the workshop, a promising sign that many residents were engaging with the music to the full. We were delighted to see so many residents attending the concert. As always it provided a wonderful opportunity for a free exchange of conversation and ideas, and one resident even suggested a new workshop initiative. We love going to Whitemoor since we are made to feel so welcome there, which was epitomised by the curry cooked for us by the residents followed by a quiz hosted in the chapel. We look forward to the next visit!