December 14, 2015



(PORTLAND, Ore.) – On December 9th Oregon Symphony musicians returned for a second year to Wilsonville’s Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, where an audience of 112 incarcerated women gave them a roaring welcome back.

Such performances are one piece of the Department of Corrections Oregon Accountability Model, which provides targeted programs and services to help offenders transition successfully back into communities. “We want to bring a piece of Oregon culture to these women, who are working hard to improve their lives,” said Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter. “It’s heartening to get to know them and share the beauty of music.”

Among those accompanying Showalter were Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and his wife Nancy Hales, who volunteers in the facility’s Girl Scouts Behind Bars Program.

Violinists Shin-young Kwon and Emily Cole, violist Jennifer Arnold, cellist Marilyn de Oliveira, bassoonist Evan Kuhlmann, and percussionist Sergio Carreno treated the audience to a mix of classical and holiday favorites, including selections from Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and Beethoven. The evening ended with a full-throated sing-along of Christmas carols.

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility Superintendent Rob Persson noted the importance of events like this: “Having Oregon Symphony perform at CCCF really provides the women an opportunity to experience something that they may not have experienced before. Events like these are opportunities for adults in custody to interact with positive role models in our community.”

The success of the evening was captured best by one of the Coffee Creek women who said: “Times like this remind me of the kind of life that I can build upon my release.”

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility is a multi-custody facility in Wilsonville that houses more than 1,200 women. It provides intake and evaluation of all female and male inmates committed to state custody. CCCF delivers a range of correctional services and programs including alcohol and drug treatment, education, work opportunities, cognitive programming, and pre-release services. The minimum facility opened in 2001 and the medium facility opened in 2002. Coffee Creek Correctional Facility is Oregon’s only women’s prison.

The Symphony’s Community Engagement program shares music and music education with over 50,000 students and adults in over 200 events beyond the concert hall each year—in schools, hospitals, libraries, other neighborhood venues, and prisons .


Jim Fullan
Vice President/Communications, Marketing, Sales