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String quartet brings music to inmates in Mississippi prison

“I wanted to uplift them and give them some classical inspiration with a little bit of the free world,” said the director of the women’s prison seminary.


In this video frame grab provided by The Mississippi Department of Corrections, members of a string quartet of First Baptist Church of Jackson perform before inmates at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Miss., on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (Leo Honeycutt/The Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)

Associated Press

Associated Press

PEARL, Miss. — A string quartet performed classical music, movie scores and hymns during a concert this week inside a Mississippi prison.

Two violinists, a viola player and a cellist from First Baptist Church of Jackson played for 68 inmates Tuesday at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.

“Music is a language that anyone from any country, any system, anyone can understand because it’s the beauty that God gave us,” cellist Sarah Beth Mullen said a news release Thursday from the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Beth Masters, the department’s director of the women’s prison seminary, arranged the concert, which took place in the prison chapel.

“I wanted to uplift them and give them some classical inspiration with a little bit of the free world,” Masters said.

In addition to hymns such as “Amazing Grace” and classical works by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, the musicians played selections from “The Sound of Music,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Lion King.”

One of the inmates, Torri Sanders, said she enjoyed the experience.

“Having that music poured into us — everything you put in is what’s going to come out, and it’s nothing but good,” Sanders said in the news release.

“I’m one of the first to say we need to hold people accountable to their crimes, but we need to offer programs so that we don’t see them in correctional facilities again,” the sheriff said
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