HMP Peterborough, December
This was my first time taking part in a Sing Inside workshop. The Sing Inside team, made up of 11 singers, arrived in the prison library just after 8.30 am after an early start to the day in Cambridge..! The morning was spent doing an informal singing warm up followed by learning three Christmas classics: 'Let it Snow!', 'White Christmas' and 'Hark! The Herald angels sing'. However, the highlight of the singing came in a gospel-style arrangement of 'Go, tell it on the mountain!'. It was this spiritual that brought everyone out of their shells - both residents and Sing Inside members. It created an environment of confident singing and genuine enjoyment - all were experiencing the power of music. In the afternoon, a short informal concert was given of these pieces and was well attended by other residents and staff members.
The Sing Inside team performed Peter Gritton's arrangement of 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' and an arrangement of 'Away in a manger' by Harold Thalange. But the whole day was about more than singing: it proved a real release for both resident and Sing inside member through conversation. What had begun as Sing Inside members on one side and residents on the other became difficult to distinguish as the day went on. It was particularly good to see different groups of friends forming within the residents throughout the day - all brought about by the power of music. We look forward to our next visit to HMP Peterborough!