In September, the CaMEO Outreach Choir returned to HMP Bedford to lead two days of workshops on an African theme, forming part of the prison’s multi-faith Harvest Festival. On this occasion the approach was slightly different to our previous visits, with us using African drumming as an initial activity with the residents. We were led by the enthusiastic and passionate drum workshop leader Daniela McDermott, who guided the residents and students through different drumming techniques and rhythm patterns, creating an incredible Cuban carnival piece!
Following an energetic first day, the CaMEO team took the lead teaching a number of upbeat African songs including Siyahamba and Wai Bamba from Zimbe! to the residents. After a full morning of rehearsals singing and drumming, we were ready to perform to an audience of prison residents and staff. Although there were a few nerves beforehand, the residents performed confidently, drumming and singing with real enthusiasm and gusto! The concert was enjoyed by audience and performers alike as we showed the fruits of our hard work over the two days of workshops, celebrating the Harvest Festival together.
“Just wanted to say thank you SO SO much for the last three days. Genuinely one of the best things I have done in my entire life, I can't thank you enough for letting me be a part of it.”
Esther, CaMEO student volunteer
“A massive THANK YOU for all that you contributed to this year's harvest celebrations - your talents, time and patience!”
Sharon, Managing Chaplain at HMP Bedford