Free Content Risk taker extraordinaire: An interview with Elvera Voth

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Elvera Voth has been a role model and mentor for me since I first saw her conduct the East Hill Singers in 2003. After her professional choral career in Anchorage, Alaska, she returned to her native state of Kansas with an idea to teach prisoners to sing. In 1995 she founded the East Hill Singers, a men's chorus comprised of minimum security prisoners incarcerated at the Lansing Correctional Facility and of male community volunteer singers. After Robert Shaw led a singalong to support her prison choir, the non-profit organization Arts in Prison, Inc. began in 1998 in order to help develop other arts-based courses for prisoners. In this interview she reflects on her time conducting the East Hill Singers and the West Wall Singers (a chorus in the maximum unit at Lansing), prison education and her newest community music project.

Keywords: Elvera Voth; Kansas; Lansing Correctional Facility; leadership; prison choir; prison education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The University of Iowa.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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