Old Folks Crash The County Jail, But After The Music Starts, Tough Inmates Are Sobbing

A few years back, a choir made up of elderly singers visited the last place you’d ever expect them to go: the county jail. Yep!

In 2013, the Young@Heart Chorus headed to the Hampshire County Jail to perform for the inmates.You’d think this audience wouldn’t be so receptive to a group of old folks, but the results may surprise you.

Proving the power of music knows no bounds, the inmates were so touched by the choir’s take on “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan that they ended up crying and giving a standing ovation. By the end, I had tears in my eyes.

The Young@Heart Chorus is based in western Massachusetts. Bob Cilman, the director, auditions new voices every week. The current performers range in age from 73 to 91. There are some with prior professional theater or music experience, others who have performed extensively on the amateur level, and some who have never stepped onto a stage before turning 80.

Soloists Elaine, Jack, Lenny, and Eileen have all passed away since this performance. What a powerful reminder of how fleeting time can be, and to make the most of life while you still have it your grasp.

I can’t think of a better audience to hear a message like this than these inmates.