The Goose Creek Correctional Facility in Wasilla, Alaska is the last place one might expect to a find a community chorus. It houses all of Alaska's approximately 1,050 prisoners. There, community is formed by common circumstances. In spite of those circumstances, inmate Chris More engaged his passion for choral conducting and created a choir comprised of fellow inmates. His effort has strengthened the bonds of community and created a sense of hope in what would seem to many to be a hopeless situation.
Loren Holmes' December 15, 2016 story for Alaska Dispatch News tells the story of this choir. Their recent concert attracted a large audience. "We never get this many people showing up for one thing, not even church," said choir member Chris Binkley. "It's almost like you can see the convict come off of people in here." "This place isn't the way society may see it," he continued. "This place can be full of hope, full of joy, and we can have something to live for. There's some people with good hearts in here, who've made mistakes, but they're on the road to recovery." At the end of the story, Chris More says "we've all seen the studies that show how music can change lives, how it's great therapy, and that's no exception here. In fact, it's doubly so here. It's the ultimate light in a dark place." I invite you to learn more about this story of hope and transformation by watching Loren Holmes' piece below.