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Alaska inmates find identity in orchestra

By By MARK THIESSEN

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (AP) — The annual concert put on by a women's prison string orchestra in Anchorage will take on special meaning this year.

There's two special milestones this Saturday for two founding members of the Hiland Mountain Women's Correctional Facility orchestra.

Violist Sarah Jane Coffman is performing in her ninth concert, but her first as a parolee. She served her sentence for murder and was paroled in February. But she continues to go back the prison every Saturday to practice. She says some might find it weird she goes back, but says there's a lot of people she knows and loves at the prison.

Dana Hilbish will be playing in her final concert. The cellist convicted of first-degree murder has made parole, and will be out of prison next month.

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