Jailhouse rock: crooning convicts raise funds for housing charity
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A four-track EP featuring a prison choir has raised over £3,000 for housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland.
The Changing Key project features prisoners from Addiewell Prison, West Lothian, and members of SoundRoutes choirs from Central Scotland.
The record includes cover versions of The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes; Movin’ On Up by Primal Scream; Hard Road to Travel by Jimmy Cliff; and a medley of Amazing Grace and House of the Rising Sun.
It is the first time that a prison choir has released a record in the UK.
The project was conceived and produced by flautist and former BBC Young Musician of the Year, Shona Brown, who runs SoundRoutes.
She said: "When we started the project none of us really knew what to expect and could never have dreamed that Changing Key would be so successful and sell so many copies.
"The first day of recording at the prison was an apprehensive time for all involved but the one thing that united us was that we were doing it for charity. During the project we built a real sense of team spirit and we’re all very proud of everything we’ve achieved. The prisoners and SoundRoutes choir are delighted to make the donation of £3,000 to Shelter Scotland, a very worthy cause."
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, added: "This is a truly transformative project that brought together people on very different sides of the track and united them in a common purpose - singing for pleasure and raising money for charity.
"Times are hard right now with funding for our vital services constantly under threat, meaning that every penny we receive is absolutely vital. I thank everyone involved in Changing Key – the SoundRoutes choirs, the prisoners from Addiewell and, in particular, Shona Brown, for her vision, drive and commitment to make this happen.
"Every penny of this donation will go towards helping us to end Scotland’s housing crisis for good."
The EP is available for download from iTunes and Amazon and all proceeds will go to Shelter Scotland.