“Christchurch Men’s Prison inmate Denan never liked being in front of crowds,” writes Jonathan Guildford in Monday’s (4/15) Press (Christchurch, New Zealand). Denan, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, “also never really fancied himself as a musician. But on Thursday, Denan did something he had never done before and performed for a group of visitors, staff and other inmates at Christchurch Men’s Prison alongside members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Guitars and ukuleles were played, percussion came in the form of drum sticks on buckets and various musical genres from classical music through to Pasifika-inspired drum beats filled the air. The performance was part of the Navigate Initiative—a partnership model between Corrections, the Pathway Trust and the wider community. Its aim is to provide options for inmates as they prepare for life back in the community. Inmates have been learning to play instruments alongside CSO members for the last eight weeks.… CSO chief executive Gretchen La Roche said the orchestra’s involvement in the initiative was all about bringing the inmates together and passing on their passion for music. ‘We think music can play a part in bringing us together and making connections.’ ”

Posted April 15, 2019