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Inmates woo crowd at annual prison concert

Inmates woo crowd at annual prison concert


For yet another year, Vincentians turned out in their numbers last Sunday in support of the ‘Talent Behind the Walls’ prison concert – an event that is highly anticipated annually by the public.

The High Court yard was almost filled to capacity, as inmates from the male and female prisons showcased their musical talent, with backing provided by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force band.{{more}}

This is the 46th anniversary of the concert, which was introduced by American evangelist Don Overstreet, whose prison ministry saw many convicts dedicating their lives to God.

After a brief performance by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) band, Urvin Abbott drove the crowd wild with his performance of Fireman Hooper’s ‘Facebook,’ while Bertram Paul’s ‘Girl I Love You’ spoke of his love for an unknown female.

Rakeem Maingot had a female section of the crowd going wild with his melodious renditions, while collaborating with Noel Browne. The charismatic Bernard ‘Doctor’ Shallow was no doubt the crowd favourite with his performances ‘Jabless’ and Alkaline’s ‘My Life’.

Meanwhile, David Mack, an amputee, took a more conscious route, dedicating his performance to his children, who were in the crowd, with his performances ‘Dreaming’, ‘It’s Christmas Time’ and ‘I am a Prisoner,’ for which he collaborated with Oswick Young.

Superintendent of Prisons (Ag) Brenton Charles thanked patrons for their usual attendance, stating that he knows Overstreet did a tremendous job because they are constantly reminded by inmates and the public who ask when is this concert coming off.

Charles said that the concert is one revenue they use to rehabilitate the inmates.

“Some people are surprised to know that they can do the things that they are doing when they come on stage here,” he stated.

This year, craft items, made by inmates from razor grass, were on display, an initiative which Charles said would be continued.

He also disclosed that 30 inmates were baptized this year.

“They are well taken care of where the word of God is concerned,” he said.

Additionally, Charles revealed that 15 inmates sat the CXC second chance programme and this year they are eligible for certificates from CXC and have started the clothing and textiles syllabus. He also said that Her Majesty’s Prisons would further develop the second chance programme so that ex-convicts can be productive when they leave the prisons.

Making their début, the HBS dancers wooed the crowd with their dance moves, becoming the first dance group to perform at the concert.(AS)