Name of Engagement

Madison Singers perform at Augusta County Correctional Facility

Contact Information

Dr. Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy

Contact Details

vanderjx@jmu.edu

Description

Dr. Van der Vat-Chromy took the Madison Singers to perform at the Augusta County Correctional Facility. The chaplain, responsible for the visit, had this to say at the conclusion: “After a few days of catching my breath, hearing from the staff and offenders about the JMU Madison singers concert I have come to understand a little of the magnitude of what has happened this past week. Many offenders at Augusta heard the group, but most did not. Those who heard the concert came out changed in some way. Many said they did not know such music existed, or that voices could make such a beautiful sound. They were exposed to many forms of music. They were captivated by the music, and the air was palpable. One offender commented that he had never been to a concert like this in the whole DOC. The best comment I heard, and this sums it up that while the concert took place he said “I closed my eyes and I wasn’t in prison anymore.” Prison can be a spiritually dark place, where souls can be crushed, despite all our efforts and talk of a healing environment. We can’t do it alone. You and the Madison singers have brought light into the dark place, and the prison is better for it. The experience has far exceeded my hopes and expectations. This I believe is what can happen with colleges and universities and their outreach to the correctional community.”

Involvement

Involves Students, Involves Faculty, Involves Participants External to JMU

Scope

Hburg/Local/VA

Frequency

One Time Only

Community Partner Name

Augusta County Correctional Facility

Areas of Engagement

Community Engagement

Format

Community Service

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