About This Project





“Beside the Golden Door”

Composed by Kim Allen Kluge & Kathryn Kluge

Commissioned by The Tacoma Ensemble



Notes from the Composers…

We composed this piece for the Tacoma Ensemble with a desire to portray the struggles and hopes of immigrants and refugees.  The title of the piece is taken from the final line of Emma Lazarus’s famous poem, The New Colussus, on the Statue of Liberty:

…Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This theme is particularly close to Kim’s heart, as his mother came to America from Korea as an immigrant to live in a small rural Mid-Western town, and was also a refugee in war-torn Korea.

After the surprise results of the presidential election, we ripped up our drafts to this piece and started from scratch.

The piece opens with the heaviness of footsteps and the heaviness of spirit as refugees and immigrants are faced with leaving their Motherland. Leaving everything they’ve ever known and loved.

The next section of struggle, anger and disillusionment gives way to the “Beside the Golden Door” melody, full of longing and a growing sense of hope in The American Dream.

The postlude is like a big question mark, and a challenge to our new president:  For the newest members of our country, the newest members of our family– will he offer hope… or despair?

—Kim & Kathryn Kluge



Takoma Park Patch: Takoma Ensemble Takes on Immigration Issues with a Concert

The Takoma Ensemble, a classical string orchestra, will offer a concert exploring the theme of immigration on Saturday, January 21.

By Jamie Wilkins (Patch Staff) – December 27, 2016 10:37 am ET
Takoma Ensemble Takes on Immigration Issues with a Concert



“In light of the election results, Takoma Ensemble has decided to actively highlight social justice for the season we already had planned, and, quite possibly, to continue this theme for the foreseeable future” said Gau. “Immigration is not the only thing we plan to speak out on—immediate plans include addressing the value of different faith traditions, and the responsibility we all have to stand up for our convictions.”

The Takoma Ensemble is one of a number of arts groups that will deal with social justice topics as our nation changes leadership. Others include the Freer Sackler Gallery and Lara Downes, a classical pianist whose new album, America Again, focuses on social justice topics. The concert’s title, The Golden Door: Music Without Borders, is from a poem by Emma Lazarus that includes the line, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”