La Frontera

Instrumentation: Soprano or Mezzo or Tenor & Piano
Duration: 4:30

View Soprano Score | View Mezzo Score | View Tenor Score | Purchase Music

Program Note:
La Frontera (The Border) is a poem by an undocumented immigrant youth held in an American maximum-security detention center. Sadly, we cannot know the identity of the author due to governmental restrictions. I was drawn to set this poem because it captures the stark realities of the immigration process as well as the powerful desire to immigrate to America. Given the frequent cruelty in the treatment of immigrants, I wanted both to bear witness to the problem and to help bring more attention to the issues of immigration. Originally scored for chorus, I have also created versions for solo soprano, mezzo or tenor, each accompanied by piano in an effort to tell the story of this undocumented immigrant.

As the granddaughter and wife of immigrants, indeed as a citizen of the United States, I am deeply aware of both the astonishing and ongoing contributions of immigrants as well as the despicable treatment so many experience. Why do we forget our own status as immigrants or descendants of immigrants, and yet deny the status of those who descend from indigenous peoples?

Larry Moffi, publisher of Settlement House Books, brought the book, Dreaming America to fruition, and kindly granted permission to set this poem.Profits from the book sales were donated to the Children’s Program of the Amica Center for Immigrant Rights (, formerly the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition), as are 100% of the score sales of this composition. For more information visit –JS



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