André de Quadros is a conductor, ethnomusicologist, music educator, and human rights activist who has conducted and undertaken research in over forty countries and is a professor of music at Boston University. Musical notes can also melt prison bars. De Quadros's work leading multicultural and prison choirs around the world, from Thailand to the Palestinian territories, inspired Jamie Hillman (CFA'14) to bring the power of music into the Massachusetts prison system. Together this year, student and mentor started their days at MCI-Norfolk, a medium-security men's prison. While the goal of the class was to cultivate an appreciation for music of diverse periods and styles, they also wanted to "provide an outlet for self-expression and discovery," says de Quadros, and to "empower and validate" the participants. And apparently, it worked. One prisoner says the class "got us in touch with that which makes us fundamentally human."
- Read about "Finding Freedom through Song"