Williams College Professor Receives 2019 ACLS Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellowship

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The American Council of Learned Societies has named W. Anthony Sheppard, the Marylin and Arthur Levitt professor of music at Williams College, a 2019 Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow.

The highly competitive fellowship supports awardees "for their potential to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge."

The 2019 ACLS Fellowship awards range from $40,000 to $70,000, depending on the scholar's career stage, and support six to 12 months of full-time research and writing. This year, 81 fellows, who hail from more than 60 colleges and universities, were selected by their peers from more than 1,100 applicants.
The ACLS Fellows "are working at diverse types of institutions, on research projects that span antiquity to the present, in contexts around the world," said Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs at ACLS. "The array of disciplines and methodologies represented demonstrates the vitality and the incredible breadth of humanistic scholarship today."

Sheppard's project, "The Performer's Voice: Timbre and Expression in Twentieth-Century Vocal Music," will investigate how European and U.S. composers and performers of vocal music wielded timbre as a tool of expression. It also aims to develop new analytical and interpretive approaches to the expressive role of timbre, focusing on specific vocal performances and offering models for studying the performance experience.

"When encountering the human voice, the tone color, or timbre, of that vocal sound fundamentally shapes how one perceives meaning," Sheppard said. "Timbre is central to all music, but is not commonly discussed in detail given our limited vocabulary. By analyzing and comparing art and popular examples, my project reveals striking continuities and connections in the history of twentieth-century music."

Sheppard has taught at Williams since 1996. He holds a Ph.D. in music from Princeton University, an M.F.A. from Princeton and a B.A. from Amherst College. He served as chair of Williams' music department from 2012 to 2015. His research has previously been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.


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Williamstown Select Board Seeks New Proposal on Parking Regulations

By Rebecca DravisiBerkshires Staff

Michele Gietz, who owns Where'd You Get That on Spring Street, objects to changes in parking regulations downtown at Monday's Select Board meeting.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board hit the brakes Monday on proposed changes to town parking bylaws.

Town Manager Jason Hoch at the Oct. 7 meeting presented a series of changes outlined in a memo from Police Chief Kyle Johnson. Together, Hoch and Johnson took stock of the town's parking rules over the last year after substantial completion of the construction on and around Spring and Latham streets prompted a revision to the spots designated as legal in the town's bylaws.

From that conversation sprung a wider evaluation of the bylaws and proposals that would impact parking throughout the town, from lifting the ban on overnight parking to taking time limits off Park Street. Hoch said at the Oct. 7 meeting that he hoped to give the board time to consider the proposals before approving any changes at its Oct. 21 meeting.

But at that Oct. 21 meeting, all five members of the Select Board said they had heard many concerns from residents about the changes.

"We've heard from a lot of folks," said Chairman Jeffrey Thomas, particularly comments in regards to potentially allowing overnight parking Spring Street lot and changes on Park Street. "These are great. We love to hear from the community."

Three members from the community came out Monday to be heard. 

First, the Rev. Nathaniel Anderson, pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church on Park Street, spoke against lifting time limits on Park Street. While churches tend to be "underutilized" buildings outside of Sunday services, St. John's is not.

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