Harmony Project takes music to state women's prison

Published:
Updated:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The sun shined in more ways than we'll ever know.

Hundreds of members of the Harmony Project performed for the entire Ohio Reformatory for Women state prison Sunday.

"It's so that the harmony project get to see our women but our women get to experience the harmony project," Roni Burkes-Trowsdell, the prison warden, said. "We have a heart for service here. Last year our women did over 500,000 hours of community service."

Even if the song is Johnny Cash's classic -- Folsom Prison Blues -- the music takes inmates to a better place.

"We made a mistake and we're here," Cindy Soeder said. "They come in and the time they're there, it's like we're not even in prison. They make us feel like we're somebody."

"They're not just a number. They're not just people who've committed crimes. They're human beings and there are people out there who care about them and care enough to come in here and perform and experience that," Burkes-Trowsdell said. "Music has a way of healing souls and has a way of uniting people. And if you listen to the messages of the songs we sang, it really is about all of us coming together."

"But I always tell the women, you're better than this place. I tell them that freedom is a state of mind, not a tangible condition," Burkes- Trowsdell said.

Harmony Project performs regularly at the prison because it's part of their mission of 'artistic passion with a social purpose.'

They connect people across social divides through music, education and volunteer service.

Click here to find out more on the Harmony Project's initiatives.