Changing lives: Billings Symphony Orchestra’s music program for incarcerated women

Posted on: June 23, 2022

“It’s not a scene you associate with the Montana Women’s Prison, but since 2014 the music program, administered through the Billings Symphony Orchestra and funded primarily through the Montana Arts Council and the Sample Foundation, offers a respite from the grind of prison life,” writes Jaci Webb in Friday’s (6/17) Billings Gazette. “The program’s official title is ‘Tutti Behind Walls’ as tutti is a musical term for ‘all voices together.’ In prior years, inmates have been able to try out different instruments and take in performances by visiting musicians. Prison chaplain Suzanne Moran describes the program as a ‘sanctuary where the women can just be themselves.’ Since its inception, noted Billings classical guitarist Elizabeth Adcock has led the class along with Candy Holzer, former education director of the BSO who has since retired. Adcock’s last class was in early June. Patrick LaFountain, who plays in the Billings band Soul Funk, will take over leadership of the class when it resumes this fall…. [Inmate] Lindsay, who said she is up for parole in 2030, said music is her calling. ‘Music has changed my life for the better.’ ”