I’m looking forward to bringing this wonderful four-year journey, inspired by our intergenerational interviews with immigrant families about their experiences of coming to America, to musical life with our three choirs — Ember Choral Arts, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and Young People’s Chorus @ Thurnauer — and the New Jersey Symphony. – Rob Kapilow
On January 20-21, We Came to America by composer Rob Kapilow will have its world premiere with New Jersey Symphony in a program titled “The American Dream." Kapilow will conduct the work on the 20th at NJPAC in Newark, NJ, and the 21st at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ.
Commissioned by the Thurnauer School of Music at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, the work was inspired by Faith Ringgold’s 2016 children’s book of the same name. Her message, “We came to America, every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world,” celebrates the American people as a united nation of immigrants, rich in cultural diversity and heritage.
The five-movement piece — with text by Sokunthary Svay and Walt Whitman as well as Deuteronomy 15:11 and United States Immigration Statutes — draws on the diverse traditions, languages and perspectives of the American immigrant experience through intergenerational stories and offers a deeper understanding of the complexities and contributions of immigrant communities in New Jersey and beyond.
Following the premiere, an educational curriculum on immigrants and diversity will be available for students, a research study by St. John’s University in Queens, NY, will build upon both the performance and its educational experiences, and a scholarship fund for music students will be launched.
For more information, please contact your local Wise Music Promotion Team.