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Bernstein's West Side Story - The Prison Choir Project (Maria) *POSTPONED*

  • Pentonville Prison Caledonian Road London, England United Kingdom (map)
Lizzie Holmes Anita West Side Story.jpg

Please note that unfortunately this project has been postponed, we hope to see it go ahead in 2019.

About The Prison Choir Project

The Prison Choir Project's objectives are to rehabilitate prisoners, ex-offenders and people experiencing mental disorder or conditions of emotional or mental distress by the advance of the arts and culture, in particular through the performance of opera, song, and choral music. 

We hope, through music and in particular singing, to provide a pathway towards establishing a reduction in reoffending, building self-esteem, improving self-confidence and employability skills for all those involved. 

Arts with offenders – the benefits
Arts projects in prison are of value on a number of levels and benefit prisoners in many ways. We provide workshops and performance opportunities in Prisons giving inmates the opportunity to join forces alongside professional singers and musicians.

Raising levels of self-esteem, group participation, self-awareness, increased knowledge and skills are all of huge social benefit.
Rehearsing for a concert, committing music to memory, learning the importance of being a team player yet retaining individuality, all require hard work, commitment, endeavour, punctuality - an important skill set that can be used on a broader level beyond prison. Discipline and hard work are required to stage an opera in a prison.
Furthermore, arts projects offer hope to those facing a bleak period of incarceration. Shortages of prison staff lead to prolonged periods in which prisoners are left in their cells, sometimes up to 23 hours a day.