Newsletter: May, 2012

IMCC-Community Choir Writing Sampler #9

May 2012

Dear Choir  Members—- My name is Shanyn Cline and I am a journalism student here at the University of Iowa.  I have taken much interest and joy reading, and learning about your success in the Community Choir program.  Through my Topics in Human Rights course, I have had the opportunity to explore the importance of human rights to the well being of ourselves as individuals, and society as well. Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.  No matter who you are, or the past you hold, you hold these rights as a human being. The denial of these rights is not only a tragedy for the individual, but can lead to social and political unrest. Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. From the passages you all have written, it is clear that the choir has demonstrated article 19 through powerful musical expression in singing and writing. By writing and singing songs, you are not only graciously unifying together, you, individually are participating in a rehabilitative activity to cope with the constraints of prison life.  The songs you have sung, written and performed, have done more than provide words to a tune; they have uncovered feelings and emotions that reveal inspirational power. I have grouped your musical experiences under four different themes; reactions to songs, us as songs, working together, and finding hope.  I have found positive energy filled with expression in these passages, and I hope you too can seek the strength and hope found in these musical experiences. 

“More than just letters and symbols on a page, the music and message we take up, becomes a part of us, to be communicated to others.” –An inside singer

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