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Chair of Music Department, UMass Lowell

Alan Williams is a Professor of Music, Chair of the Department of Music, and Coordinator of Music Business at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He earned a Bachelor of Music in third stream studies from the New England Conservatory of Music, and holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from Brown University. He has published chapters in The Art of Record Production (Ashgate Press, 2012), The Oxford Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology (Oxford University Press, 2015), and in Critical Approaches to the Production of Music and Sound (Bloomsbury Press, 2018), as well as numerous academic journal articles. He also writes, records, and performs with his ensemble, Birdsong At Morning.

After the demise of the folk rock band Knots and Crosses, following the collapse of their recording contract with Island Records, Williams embarked on a career as a recording engineer and producer, working primarily with singer-songwriters such as Patty Larkin, Jennifer Kimball and Kris Delmhorst. He co-produced "Cry, Cry, Cry," a collaboration between Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell.

A veteran stage performer and recording studio musician and multi-instrumentalist, Williams explored the many world music ensembles during his time at Brown, including Ghanaian drumming, Javanese gamelan and Middle Eastern music ensembles.

Williams has served on the faculty of UMass Lowell since 1995, teaching courses in sound recording history and aesthetics, introduction to technology for music majors, musicianship and analysis, and is co-director of the Cambodian music ensemble.


  • –present
    Chair of Music Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell