Colombian composer, psychologist, and social worker Paola M. Marquez is the Executive Program and Operations Manager of the Detroit Children’s Choir. She has been an adjunct professor at Syracuse University, and has worked as a social worker for Say Yes Syracuse, Imagine Syracuse, and Matrix Head Start in Detroit.
She earned her licenses in psychology from Pontific Javeriana, Cali, and music composition from Juan N. Corpas, Bogota, as a Summa Cum Laude. She earned a Master’s degree in composition from Syracuse University as a recipient of the Heaton Fellowship, and an MSW from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as a recipient of the Eleanor Cranefield Scholarship. She has published her research on music cognition in SACCOM (2008) and is the author of Mar Azul.
As a composer, she uses her understanding of human psychology as inspiration for her work, creating a unique bridge between art, music and social issues. She has written film, solo, vocal, orchestral, and chamber music, and has received an Honorable Mention citation in the 2011 International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition competition held in Greece. She has been the composer-in-residence at the Pelee Island Music Festival in Canada, and has been involved with music projects with the Ruth Ellis Center, the Syracuse Children’s Chorus, the Tree House Ensemble, the Society of New Music, Vision of Sound, Rising Stars, and Composers-in-the-Schools, and with commissions by Juilliard School violinist Artur Kaganovkiev, Dearborn Symphony conductor Kypros Markou, and French filmmaker Boris Wexler. She has been a music assistant for Musica Mestiza, a project led by composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Katri Ervamaa.