February 2012

Captive Audience

February 10, 2012 08:59

Ever play before one? I do every day - twice a day, for an hour. They are literally a captive audience. They are the inmates in the Baltimore County Circuit Court lock up.

The jury rooms where I practice are literally interspersed throughout the third floor of the Court house, and they are situated straight across from the lockups. I bring my folder to work each day and play my second violin part to a pre-recorded performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on my iPod. The Deputies tell me that whilst practicing PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, the inmates became very quiet and pressed themselves up against the cage to hear better.

In one instance, two cell blocks...one containing some Bloods, the other containing Crips, were within shouting distance of each other, and on any given situation, these inmates would be yelling and screaming obscenities and threats at one another. Yesterday, however, I was told you could hear a pin drop in the "tank" area. Fearing that a "takedown" was about to occur, the Deputies barged into the "tank" area only to find all of the inmates pressed against the cage...quiet. The Deputies said they could hear the music coming from the jury room I was in - directly across the hall.

Although the inmates could not see me, they could hear everything I was doing perfectly well, because I left the door of the jury room open.

Today, I've been hit with requests from the Deputies,"Can you practice near block 8? We have an attempted murder suspect there...." "Hey Ann Marie, when you play today, go to 6! There are some gang members that we could use your help calming down...."

I wouldn't look to see these guys at any of our concerts, many won't be going anywhere for a while. But it is a testament to the power of classical music.

1 reply


More entries: December 2010

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Juilliard Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies
Juilliard Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

North Shore Chamber Music Festival
North Shore Chamber Music Festival

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe