When cellist Zuill Bailey took on the job as director of the Sikta Summer Music Festival, he promised Alaskans he would reach out to audiences across the state, especially those who haven’t had a chance to experience fine classical music.
At the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, a women’s prison near Eagle River, he’s made good on that promise twice.
In December 2012, he performed with the Hiland Inmate Orchestra at their Christmas concert.
And last September, he returned to play an evening concert. The gym was filled with yellowish light. The women sat in aluminum folding chairs in their prison garb and let Bailey give them a taste of freedom through his music.
The Sitka Summer Music Festival begins Saturday, May 31 and runs through June 29, with concerts featuring some of classical music’s finest artists scheduled every week.