The Choral Commons
The Choral Commons
Emilie Amrein & André de Quadros
Borders, Bridges, and the Choir / Ahmed Anzaldúa
40 minutes Posted Aug 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
Download MP3
Show notes

In her book, Borderlands/La Frontera, the great Chicana poet, author, and activist, Gloria Anzaldúa writes, “Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line…The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants.” Recently, the field of choral music has begun to extend the work of social justice to borders and the harm they cause. As we struggle for ways to understand the lives of refugees, immigrants, and the displaced through music, we find ourselves seeking to engage deeply with the prohibited and the forbidden. How can we get close? How can we listen deeply? How can we compassionately reflect these stories in our music-making?

Ahmed Anzaldúa is a Mexican choral conductor, classical pianist, and music educator of Egyptian descent. He is the director and founder of Border CrosSing, an organization dedicated to integrating historically-segregated audiences, repertoires, and musicians through the performance of choral music. 

Founded in 2017, Border CrosSing envisions fundamental change in classical music culture, so that every concert, every audience, and the artists on stage truly reflect the cultural reality of the community. Their work provides opportunities for people from different backgrounds to understand each other in new ways through their multi-lingual Puentes concert series, educational programs in schools, and collaborations with Minnesota-based arts and cultural organizations.