Journal Entry: Gary Goulin-02/24/2024-LET THERE BE MUSIC!

Journal Entry

I just had the most amazing experience. This evening I attended in the chapel, a concert put on by 4 inmates. The main performer was a gentleman on piano. Prior to incarceration he was a world class pianist and composer who worked with, and composed for a very famous rock star. The feature piece he played was George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. He also played pieces from Chopin and Handel. He was later joined by a percussionist, a trumpeter/bass player and a vocalist. Songs included “Georgia on my Mind”, “Kansas City” and others.

The talent was amazing. However, what was most striking to me was that the entire packed chapel, packed with inmates, was completely transfixed by the performance. You could have heard a pin drop. This was not your typical L. A. Philharmonic or New York’s Javitz Center audience. Nonetheless, the inmates were thoroughly taken in by the performance.

What struck me most was the humanness of it all. That even though we here have all made bad choices (and some here for sure have made multiple bad choices again and again), we are all bound by our humanity, our desire to experience joy and happiness. No matter how “hardened” we may appear on the outside, inside we are still human. Indeed while not appearing like a typical symphony audience, at least there were no little old ladies unwrapping their hard candies during the performance. (No offense to those little old lady candy un-wrappers!)