Prison Music Week 2024 (HMP Gartree)

2023 Koestler Entries and Winners

The 2023 Koestler Awards has been a record year for entries and awards for our singing groups – celebrating our return to full strength post-Covid in style!

The 13 winning entries cover a range of musical styles as wide and varied as the singers themselves, from covers of well-loved classics to original raps. Every year, the Awards have a theme to explore the experience of life in the criminal justice system. This year the prompt was “A Day in The Life” and both the “Maidstone Jammers” and “Lyrical Miracles” (HMP Swaleside) produced very different but thought-provoking original songs. Enjoy!”

Breaking Bars (HMP Gartree)

Beyond Bars (HMP Stafford)

Maidstone Jammers (HMP Maidstone)

Price Tag (Choral Music) – OUTSTANDING DEBUT
A Day In The Life (Themed entry) – COMMENDED
This Life (Performance – live acoustic version) feat. (and shared here with the kind permission of) Matrix – OUTSTANDING DEBUT

Lyrical Miracles (HMP Swaleside)

Harmony on the Hill (HMP Rye Hill)


Songs by “Breaking Bars”at HMP Gartree

Songs by “Feathertones” at HMP Featherstone

Songs by HMP Durham

Songs by “The Swinfonics” at HMP Swinfen Hall

Songs by “Beyond Bars” at Stafford HMP

Songs by”Unchained Harmony” Choir at YOI Brinsford, produced by Finding Rhythms

Songs by “Harmony On The Hill” at HMP Rye Hill

Songs by “The Lyrical Miracles” at HMP Swaleside

Songwriting Project March-April 2024 at HMP Swaleside