Overcoming the Brutalization of Humanhood: Implications for Arts Engagement and Scholarship

Friday, November 2, 2018, 1:45-3:15pm

As one of very few attempts to document and understand the role of music in the lives of incarcerated men in a group setting, this study will contribute to scholarship examining creative identities within such marginalized settings. Our work spanning the last seven years has crossed over visual arts, music, and theater and brought on-campus students into an incarcerated setting and welcomed formerly incarcerated men into a university campus learning environment. This teaching approach, which has lead to the creation of numerous artistic products from which our research derives, is rooted in transgressive strands of art-making and arts education.


Kinh T. Vu is an assistant professor of music at Boston University. Kinh’s research centers on music education and human displacement with a focus on prisoners in Massachusetts, orphans in Vietnam, women in Cambodia, and refugees living in Sweden. With social [in]justice at the heart of his teaching, learning, and musicking practices, Kinh T. Vu engages on-campus and distance learners in a range of courses including music education history and philosophy, secondary general music methods, and conducting. He is a staff instructor with BU Bands where he assists the marching band and coordinates a bucket drumming group. Outside Boston University, Professor Vu leads workshops and musical groups in the United States, Viet Nam, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and El Salvador.

Dr. Vu centers his research on the potential of music educators and community partners working together to affect positive change in their communities where musicking becomes/is a practice of [re]making place and [re]claiming identity. Current projects include the study of refugees and asylum seekers who sing in Swedish vocal groups; Cambodian women who encourage artists to make place/space for music, murals, and handicrafts in a slum where land and houses are usurped by aggressive land grabs; and an El Salvadoran marching band that fosters a socio-musical community by drawing youth away from gang membership. He has published articles in Public: A Journal of Imagining AmericaThe College Music Society Symposium, the International Journal of Inclusive EducationContributions to Music EducationMassachusetts Music Educators Journal, and has a forthcoming chapter contribution to Indiana University Press.

From 1997 to 2010, Dr. Vu taught middle and high school general music and band in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. His volunteer work outside academia includes music making with and for orphans in Romania and Viet Nam. Vu earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Westminster College, PA; master’s degree in conducting from The Pennsylvania State University; and doctor of philosophy in music education from the University of Minnesota.


André de Quadros is a professor of music and chair of music education at Boston University. He is an active choral conductor whose research interests include crosscultural studies, postcolonial choral music, diversity in music education, and arts and public health. André de Quadros studied violin with Adrian de Mello and conducting with Joachim Buehler and Robert Rosen. Received DAAD scholarship 1979–1980 for study at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. He holds artistic directorships in the following four organizations: Aswatuna – Arab Choral Festival; the Bali International Choir Festival, Indonesia; the London International Music Festival; and CONDUCTING 21C-Musical Leadership for a New Century, Sweden. He is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Educational Inquiry, and Arts & Health. He is general editor of the Carmina Mundi series published by Carus Verlag, Germany, editor of the following choral series: Music of Asia and the Pacific; Cantemus; and Salamu Aleikum – Choral Music of the Muslim World published by Earthsongs, and Songs of the World published by Hinshaw Music. An ardent human rights and social change activist, André de Quadros believes that consensus music-making can bring people and cultures together. To that end, he has been at the forefront of efforts for music and social change. In 2008 and 2012, he co-directed Aswatuna: Arab Choral Festival in Jordan that brought together choirs from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. In 2010, he co-directed a historic project with Palestinian and Israeli choral musicians in East Jerusalem working to foster understanding between the two communities. This project has continued on a regular basis and is called the Community Heartsong Project. A staunch advocate for the democratization of music, André de Quadros teaches in two Massachusetts prisons. He is a member of the Scientific Board of the International Network for Singing Hospitals and a member of the steering committee of Conductors Without Borders. He was part of a multiyear, externally funded arts and public health research project that was pioneered in Peru and may be replicated in other marginalized parts of the world to discover the power between the arts and public health.

A sought after conductor and clinician, André de Quadros is Music Director and Conductor of the Manado State University Choir (Indonesia) with which he toured France, Sweden, Sri Lanka, and Poland in 2010 winning a first prize at the Warsaw International Competition, in summer 2012 took the US by storm at the Yale International Choral Festival, New York City’s River to River Festival, and engagements in Boston, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles, and in 2013 was acclaimed in concerts and workshops in France, Sweden, and Israel. De Quadros’s previous conducting engagements of note include the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Bulgaria with which he toured Spain, the Massachusetts All-State Chorus (USA), the Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra (USA), the Prokofiev Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, the Nusantara Chamber Orchestra (Indonesia), the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra, the New Monash Orchestra, and the Jauna Muzika Choir (Lithuania). Invited presentations include American Orff Schulwerk Association (Philadelphia), World Symposium of Choral Music (Vancouver), Deutscher Sängerbund (Würzburg), the National Choral Seminar (Singapore), and the Royal Society for Public Health. His awards include Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President’s Special Commendation for Distinguished Teaching. He is an Accredited Teacher, SEDA (UK) and his prior university appointments include being Associate Professor and Director of Music Performance at Monash University School of Music—Conservatorium, Australia. He is also former Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Festival of Choirs.

His research interests include cross-cultural studies, postcolonial choral music, diversity in music education, and arts and public health. As author and editor, André de Quadros has edited the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music for Cambridge University Press; is co-editor and co-author of Tanglewood II: Summoning the Future of Music Education published by GIA Press; and author of Choral Music in Global Perspective to be published by Routledge. Since 2011, he has been the founding director of the Music Research and Creative Network of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), the fourth largest online repository in the world.

He has held several leadership positions at Boston University including: Chair, Department of Music, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; Director of the School of Music; and Artistic Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.


Related Partner Profile
  • Boston University