A Christmas album with a difference is aiming to claim the No. 1 spot in the music charts this year.
It's a festive collaborative effort — but not as you know it. Jingle Jangle is a collaboration between the SOLAS Workplace Choir and the Mountjoy Prison Inhouse Voices — and all proceeds are going towards a great cause.
The album features much-loved Christmas tracks, including Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells. All tracks were recorded in Mountjoy Prison.
Support for a hugely worthwhile cause
The album was launched on Thursday at a special fundraising concert in Mountjoy. All proceeds from the concert and from sales of the album will go to Dublin Simon.
“SOLAS funds prison education services through the Education and Training Boards across Ireland,” explained Nikki Gallagher, Director of Communications and Secretariat at SOLAS, talking of how the album came about.
“Earlier this year, we held the first ever TEDx event in an Irish prison: TEDxMountjoyPrison. The event featured ex-offenders and people working in the prison services, speaking about their experiences. Its aim was to highlight the important role that education can play in rehabilitation and to open up a discussion on the supports ex-offenders need to successfully reintegrate into society after their release.
An aid to the rehabilitative process
“While we were working on TEDxMountjoyPrison, we discovered there is a choir in Mountjoy, made up of prisoners. There is also an active workplace choir in SOLAS. What started out as a supposed once-off performance at the TEDx event has led to the two choirs producing this album together.
"It has been a fascinating journey for all involved, and we are delighted to now have a really excellent Christmas album, which is being sold to raise funds for a hugely worthwhile cause.”
The album, helping to raise much-needed funds for Dublin Simon at one of the harshest times of year for people experiencing homelessness, is also a positive for inmates.
“We strive to provide a service that not only protects society but promotes rehabilitation and reintegration."
“We are very proud of what our prison choir has achieved throughout the entire collaboration project with SOLAS, but we are also very conscious that every prisoner is here for a reason," added Eddie Mullins, Governor of Mountjoy.
"We are conscious that there are many victims of crime who endure trauma and deep sadness, particularly at this time of year, and we are very aware that the things we say and do can have a profound effect on victims and their families.”
Jingle Jangle is available to buy for €10 in any Tower Records store or online at www.towerrecords.ie.
Main photograph: Eddie Mullins, Governor of Mountjoy and Nikki Gallagher, Director of Communications and Secretariat at SOLAS with the SOLAS Workplace Choir and the Mountjoy Prison Inhouse Voices