• Building community across borders

    Photo credit: Juan Moyano

    About the Ensemble

    Common Ground Voices / La Frontera brings together a diverse group of artists in a community music and peace-building project situated at the border of Mexico and the United States. The international ensemble, led by Emilie Amrein and André de Quadros, is comprised of musicians from across Mexico and the United States, including many from the greater trans-border region. Through our week-long residencies, Common Ground Voices / La Frontera considers forced migration, identity, place, belonging, and shared humanity in this politically charged and historically contested region.

    Photo credit: Juan Moyano

    Mission, Vision & Values

    Modeled on Common Ground Voices in Jerusalem, CGV La Frontera aims to generate meaningful collaboration through music, explore and create music of shared human values and aspirations, contribute to community music as an exercise of non-violence, and utilize music as a springboard for a meaningful discussion about social and political change within the group as well as with the society in general. We believe in transcending political and demographic borders through art-, theatre-, and music-making; in the transformative potential of immersive and experiential encounters with difference; in the power of proximity to expand perspectives and open hearts; and in the role that culture-bearers play in building community.

  • Our Leaders

    Emilie Amrein

    Emilie Amrein is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion issues within the arts and academia. As Assistant Professor of Music at the University of San Diego, she conducts the USD Choral Scholars and teaches courses on the intersection of music and social justice movements.

    André de Quadros

    André de Quadros is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Education Department at Boston University. He directs four choirs: the Manado State University Choir (Indonesia), Common Ground Voices (Israeli / Palestinian/ international), VOICES 21C (Boston), and Muslim Choral Ensemble (Sri Lanka).

  • Tijuana / San Diego Residency

    Photo credit: Manuel Cruces Camberos

    Performance Events

    Our concert program, entitled “Sueños, Visiones: Another Possible World,” features choral works by Mexican and American composers and incorporates improvisation, movement, and narration into an immersive concert experience for our audiences. In addition to our public performances, we are inviting the community to an open rehearsal on Thursday, March 7 from 7:30-9:00 PM in the Bishop Buddy Sala in Mother Rosalie Hill Hall at the University of San Diego. All of our events are free and open to the public.

    Workshops & Presentations

    On March 5, 2019, Common Ground Voices / La Frontera will present a workshop with Ensamble Redes 2025 at Centro de Artes Musicales in Tijuana, B.C. We will also participate in the Western Region of Campus Compact on March 7, 2019 for the Continuums of Service Conference in San Diego. At the conference, we will present on our unique peace-building processes and lead a workshop where participants will explore how we can reach out beyond borders of communities, nations, and identities to think more inclusively about our work.

    Photo credit: Luke Leidiger

    Intensive Rehearsal Residency

    The Common Ground Voices / La Frontera rehearsal residency will take place from March 3-7 at Centro de Artes Musicales in Tijuana and at the University of San Diego. Rehearsals are characterized by the inclusion of core activities meant to build empathy and invoke a vision of a yet-to-be world. These activities include active listening exercises, Theater of the Oppressed games, healing circles, and reflective dialogue.

    Engagement Activities

    Las Playas de Tijuana

    San Diego Friendship Park

    During our week-long residency, we will visit both sides of the border wall and engage with community partners including Border Angels, Espacio Migrante, Tijuana Ecoparque, the American Friends Service Committee, and US Border Patrol in order to better understand forced migration, identity, place, belonging, and shared humanity in this politically charged and historically contested region.