Commissions for Immigrant Advocacy

Jen Wang
4 min readJun 25, 2018


Hey, friends! I would love to encourage people to donate to groups that are working to ensure that immigrants detained at the border, including separated families, get advocacy and legal representation. So: if you donate $100 to one of the groups below, one of the delightful composers below will write you a minute-long miniature for the solo instrument of your choice.

This fundraiser used to just be for RAICES, which does wonderful work, but as they’ve been on the receiving end of a few viral fundraising campaigns since this project started, we’re expanding the list of groups you can support to:
ACLU of Texas
Texas Civil Rights Project
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Safe Passage Project
Immigrant Defenders Law Center

I know there are many other deserving groups out there; please drop me a note if you’d like to suggest one.

What? Huh? How does this work?

You go to one of the groups on the list and donate $100. You forward me the e-mail (if you have my e-mail address) or comment/DM me with a screenshot of the donation. You check out the list of composers below. And then you say: “I would like [composer] to write a minute-long piece for X, please”. If someone else has already requested that instrument, we can make you co-commissioners of a two-minute-long piece. Or you can have your own. Whatever you want.

Who’s doing this?

Kevin Baldwin
Sidney Boquiren
Carolyn Chen
Melika Fitzhugh
Louise Fristensky
Christian Gentry
Alex Huddleston
Chris Hutchings
Jenny Olivia Johnson
Frank Li
Peri Mauer
Joshua Parmenter
Matt Payne
Dave Reminick
Kyle Rowan
Jessica Rudman
Saman Samadi
Isaac Schankler
Daniel Swilley
Mattie Tempio
Alex Temple
Jen Wang
(Composers: want to join this list? See below!)

— My (Jen’s) plate is getting a smidge full. I am still up for writing if you want me to, but please note that my timeline will be slow!
— Matt is happy to write you a piece with a GameBoy backing track if you’d like. So, for $100, you could ask for either a solo from him, or a duo for an instrument and GameBoy.
— A number of us are willing to write for electronics, either on their own, or as an accompaniment for an instrument. Please let us know if you’re interested!

What if I want something slightly different?

This scales up by instrument or duration, so a $200 donation will buy you a two-minute piece or a one-minute duo. This can also extend to arrangements instead of compositions, so if you want a piece arranged for your wedding, a cappella group, or werhwieohrapiwehrpa, that’ll work, too.

What if I want to pitch in, but don’t play anything?

That’s cool — you can still name an instrument and we’ll do it. Or you can say, “I donated $100 — throw this toward something” and I’ll make some other piece longer or something, etc.

What if I want to pitch in, but can only donate something smaller?

That’s cool, too — you can say, “Please put this toward a piece for X”, and when we have a total of $100 for that project, we’ll start work on a minute-long piece.

I’m a composer and I like this idea. Can I donate my services, too?

Of course you can. Let me know if you’re interested and please give me your e-mail address, and I’ll toss you on the composer list! I’ll also invite you to a Google Doc we’re using to keep track of projects. If you’re worried about your workload, you can say something like, “Hey, I can do a couple pieces”, for instance. Whatever works for you.

I’m a performer and I like this idea. Can I help in some way?

Maybe I could use help recording them eventually? I don’t know? Maybe? Let me know if you’re interested?

I don’t actually want a piece; I just want to donate.


Projects so far:

(You can commission your own piece, or maybe go in as a co-commissioner on an existing piece; your choice!)


Christine Slaughter & Kyle Rowan, Bb clarinet (1 min)
Allison Balcetis, saxophone (type TBD) solo (2 min)
William Lang, trombone solo (3 min)
Aaron Hynds, tuba solo (1 min)
Meerenai Shim, duo for contrabass flute & contraforte (1 min)


Megan Diane Dickinson, vibraphone solo (1 min)
Serin Hale, Adam Stilgoe, Penny Brandt, Hal Daumé III, Sarah Bob, piano solo (5 min)
Tiffany Ng, Alice Telesnitsky, Alex Carney, Erika Anderson, Kunal Marwaha, Leslie Chan, Nicole Sugiono, Paige Liu, Sylvia Lewin, Thomas Le, Yvette Wu, Sheryl Seller, arrangements for carillon (4–5 min) — looking to expand to ~7 min!
Caitlin Cawley, percussionist & objects (1 min)


Jeanne-Marie Peterson & Hannah Addario-Berry, cello solo (2 min total)
Colin Holter, electric guitar solo (1 min)
Jacob Eisenstein & Daniel Cullen, classical guitar solo(s?), (2 min total)
Mark Hilliard Wilson, classical guitar (1 min)
Shana Norton & Irl Smith, lever harp (4 min)


Amy Frey, Emily Giansiracusa, Hal Daumé III, soprano & mezzo duo (3 min)
Matt Hapeman, bass (1 min)
Miki Merin, voice? (10 min)
Frank S. Li & Jeffrey Lin, baritone (2 min)


Isaac Schankler & George Schankler, accordion solo (2 min)
Salwa Bullard & Veronica Falandino, my choice! (2 min)
Zelda Lin, cat (1 min, but actually probably indeterminate?)
Deborah Li, cello & tenor saxophone (1 min)
Conrad Lumm, duo for Chris’s choice (1 min)

Total raised so far: $6380!!
(Updated 7/10)