This Land/Our Land: Exploring immigration with young musicians
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This Land/Our Land: Exploring immigration with young musicians


One, two, and three and… [“This Land/Our Land” by Christopher O’Riley plays] When I first came to the States I didn’t speak very much English I remember going to Cleveland and America’s so big and it felt very different. So my dad came here because his mom told him that this place was great That it’s amazing, that you have great opportunity to do anything here The first thing I remember was standing at the line in the airport I was just watching people’s faces of how many different people there are they all spoke different languages from all different countries and I’ve never seen such diversity! So I had the idea of culminating this performance with the Woody Guthrie song, “This Land Is Your Land,” and once we had our six immigrant alums of From the Top I took the material of each of their national anthems and through various pairings and pittings we lead into the Woody Guthrie song. [“This Land Is Your Land” surfaces] My parents are from Oaxaca, Mexica They wanted to leave because they wanted better opportunities Being an immigrant, and coming to the U.S. Is one of the most American things you can do because you are choosing this country because you want to be here This is important for me because when I came here I saw this incredible unity and this year I feel like it’s crumbling away I live with many people from different countries in my college and and all of them are afraid but they all feel like they are Americans. They all feel like they belong here and getting together with musicians from different countries felt like we belong here.

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