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Home > The Good Prison:Tuning Up 2019:A music festival for residents and staff of HMP Whitemoor with Britten Sinfonia
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Gemma West, PACT
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Denise Garrett, PACT
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Marysia Manning, PACT
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Victoria Taylor, Pact
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Faith Bennett, OTR Bristol
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TuningUp is a partnership between Britten Sinfonia, HMP Whitemoor, Orchestras Live and Lemos&Crane, with financial support from Arts Council England and Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust. Our goal is to bring orchestral music, repertoire and musicianship to the centre of the lives of the residents and staff of prisons – not only for its own sake, but also to harness the benefits of musicianship and collaborative performance in wellbeing and rehabilitation for prison residents.

In the visitors’ centre at HMP Whitemoor, one of the UK’s most high security prisons, nearly 200 people gathered on 24 October 2019 for a one-day festival of art and music for staff, residents and family members with the musicians of Britten Sinfonia, one of the country’s most accomplished and well-known orchestras.  Family members visited for the whole day. In the morning there were music workshops, art activities and face painting for the children and families. In the afternoon, a newly formed orchestra of staff, residents and musicians of nearly 40 players, complete with a string section, a brass section, percussion, piano and woodwind performed a concert of new compositions by the residents inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and work of minimalist composer Steve Reich.

“Music does bring people together. It speaks a lot. It can make you feel things. It can connect people” sister of resident, HMP Whitemoor

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