"The Connection Between Sound and Place"

By Katherine Duke '05

Throughout her college years, Deidra Montgomery ’10 has been meeting up with other enthusiasts to raise her voice in a singing tradition called Sacred Harp. Now she’s conducting a formal study of her fellow singers. “I’m looking at who the Western Mass [Sacred Harp] community is, who makes it up and what a regular singing is like,” she says. Phil DuPont ’12 has been attending three Catholic Masses every week, at two different churches in Holyoke, Mass., listening to the differences in the songs and prayers at English- and Polish-language services. The singings and the churches are just a few examples of “Pioneer Valley Soundscapes.”

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Seeing the Bigger Picture

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna

It is 1:45 p.m. one muggy July afternoon at the Amherst Survival Center, 15 minutes before its doors are supposed to close for the day, and there’s a line about 20 long stretching into an un-air conditioned back room. Among its many other services, the agency has a food pantry that provides a month’s worth of nutritional staples to families who meet certain income criteria, and the people here are queuing up for fresh vegetables, bread and canned goods.