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Inmates raise enough funds to play another year of music

By KTVA CBS 11 News 9:27 PM December 8, 2013

The holiday concert at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center raised about $14,000

ANCHORAGE – The numbers are in for Saturday’s holiday concert at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, and the inmates in the orchestra can look forward to another year of playing music.

Icy roads didn’t stop about 400 music lovers from driving to the concert in Eagle River. The ticket sales raised about $14,000 — enough to fund the program for another year.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the holiday concert, a Philadelphia jazz artist composed  a piece called “Tanaina Dreams.” She said it was an honor to perform with the Hiland Orchestra.

“I think it was extraordinarily beautiful and uplifting,” said artist Diane Monroe. “I’m shaking because of the energy that was in that room.”

Each year, guest artists are invited to perform with the orchestra. Local musicians also volunteer to play with the inmates to fill out the sound of the orchestra. Arts on the Edge, the nonprofit that started the orchestra, said it’s a good way to get the community involved with the women and vice versa.

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