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The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

20 members needed
SSAA with piano, electric guitar, string bass
A new work to be composed by Michael Bussewitz-Quarm
Difficulty: 3 · Medium
Length: 6-8 minutes
Releases on Jan. 15th 2022
Must be funded by Jan. 1st 2022
$150 / ensemble

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This project will include…

PDF score
9-month premiere window
Score guarantee


This piece amplifies the true story of an undocumented teenage mother who was deported to Mexico and came up against many challenges with the US immigration system as she tried to reunite with her son. Even though this is a challenging subject, the piece celebrates Aida’s spirit and encourages us to feel empowered to speak out. The piece explores the contrast of “speak out & stay quiet”. The mood will be uplifting and empowering, with electric guitar and piano accompaniment. What you get: • Pre-recorded panel discussion with composer, lyricist, and a author. • PDF of score • Listing on inside cover of score • Live session with composer • midi rehearsal tracks • monthly Zoom mixer for choir directors of project Collaborators: Shantel Sellers, lyricist Talia Jimenez-Ramirez, musicologist Aaron Bobrow-Strain, author of "The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story" Themes: Migrant crisis/Women's rights


Lyrics in progress, written by Shantel Sellers

About Michael Bussewitz-Quarm

The choral music of Michael Bussewitz-Quarm (pronouns: she/her) engages singers and audiences with the leading social and environmental issues of our time. Michael is passionate about effecting change through choral music on topics ranging from the health of the world’s coral reefs to the epidemic of gun violence in the United States to the global refugee crisis. Michael is an active advocate for the transgender community. It is her fervent wish to spread knowledge and understanding of the transgender community through guest speaking and by simply being present in the lives of the talented musicians and artists surrounding her. A finalist for the 2019 and 2020 American Prize, Ms. Bussewitz-Quarm’s works are performed by leading professional and educational choral ensembles across North America. Recent collaborations include the west coast premiere of The Unarmed Child by Eugene Concert Choir and Orchestra, I’ll Fly Away at the International Society of Contemporary Music’s New Music Days in Vancouver, BC, and Nigra Sum, performed by The Duke University Chorale on their California tour. Michael’s works have been rebroadcasts on Public Radio East, KMUZ, and WCPE, with performances by Singers of New and Ancient Music, musica intima, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Duke University Chorale, the Esoterics, among other exceptional choral ensembles. Michael is published by Peermusic Classical. Current projects include Peacebomb, inspired by Laotian families who make jewelry from metal taken from unexploded ordnance, Where We Find Ourselves, a pandemic-proof choral project inspired by the portraits of Hugh Mangum, and The Death and Life of AIda Hernandez: A Border Story, based on the book of the same name that tells the story of an undocumented teen’s harrowing experiences with the U.S.’s militarized immigration system. Ms. Bussewitz-Quarm attended Ithaca College (BM ’94), for piano performance and music education, and received her MM from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queen’s College in New York. For more information, visit her website, Bookings: To Book, contact Michael through email at or through Michael’s contact page:

Other projects by Michael