On March 26, a choir composed of diverse talent took center stage at the Daviess County Detention Center’s 16th annual banquet. Dressed in matching yellow attire, a musical group of nine vocalists accompanied by two directors received a rousing standing ovation, not once, but three different times throughout the evening.
However, unlike other choral groups, these nine vocalists all shared a unique status — that of inmate.
Created in 2016, through a program affiliated with Owensboro Symphony Outreach, the ladies choir of the Daviess County Detention Center has worked continuously to evolve and grow.
Co-Choir Directors Cathy Mullins and Gloria Dean have led the unique ensemble since the program originated and have seen the difference first hand that it has made in the lives of those incarcerated.
“Our choir is constantly changing, so to speak,” Mullins said. “Often, each time we perform, we have a different group of ladies with us, and that’s how our choir is designed to thrive.”
Members of the choir rotate on a volunteer basis, and have performed at a variety of events over the past three years. The group has been influential in spreading a message of hope and redemption throughout the community.
“These ladies do not audition, they aren’t selected by musical talent,” Mullins said. “They look forward to this opportunity so much.”
Evident by the transformations that have taken place “behind the bars,” the ladies choir of DCDC hopes to carry this momentum beyond release. Often exceeding their allotted time frame for scheduled practices, Mullins said they are more than just inmates.
“These are our friends and neighbors — this is just a bump in the road for so many,” Mullins said. “If we don’t take care of them, who will?”
Mullins describes the choir as a “one on one” ministry and hopes the ladies who come into contact with the program learn to gather their blessings where they are.
“Our hope is these ladies leave with a new song in their hearts, they have a gift to give, and music is that gift,” Mullins said. “It’s a blessing to be a part of something that attaches itself to some many, and doesn’t let go.”
For more on the Ladies Choir of Daviess County Detention Center visit Chaplain Herzog-Good News Jail & Prison Ministry on social media.