Yale University’s Braxton Shelley Wins Four Awards for His First Book

Braxton Shelley, an associate professor of music and sacred music at Yale Divinity School, has won four awards for his book Healing for the Soul: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination (Oxford Univerity Press, 2021). The book uses the work of renowned gospel musician Richard Smallwood to explore the significance of vamp (a recurring musical phrase or chord progression) in Black gospel tradition and its potent and transformative spiritual power.

For this book, Dr. Shelley has been awarded:

  • The Lewis Lockwood Award from the American Musicological Society, given for a book of exceptional merit by a scholar in the early stages of their career;
  • The Emerging Scholar Award-Book from the Society for Music Theory, for a book published no more than seven years after the author’s receipt of a Ph.D;
  • The Ruth Stone Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology, which honors the most distinguished English language monograph in the field of ethnomusicology by a new author; and
  • The inaugural Portia Maultsby Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology, which recognizes a distinguished English-language monograph in the field of ethnomusicology that focuses on African American music and/or Black music of the diaspora.

A theorist of African American sacred music, Dr. Shelley is the faculty director of Yale’s new interdisciplinary Program in Music and the Black Church at the Institute of Sacred Music. He is also a minister.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in music and history from Duke University, Dr. Shelley received a master of divinity degree and a Ph.D. in the history and theory of music from the University of Chicago. He is completing work on a second book – An Eternal Pitch: Bishop G. E. Patterson and the Afterlives of Ecstasy – which is forthcoming from the University of California Press.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Central State University to Merge Two Colleges to Optimize Resources and Efficiency

The primary goal of the merger is to improve operational efficiency, support increased enrollment, and optimize resources. Notably, the focus on operational streamlining does not include any plans for staff or faculty layoffs.

Four Black Scholars Selected for Dean Positions

The dean appointments are Chukwuka Onwumechili at Howard University, Myra Bozeman at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, Joan Tilghman at Coppin State University in Baltimore, and Omolola Eniola-Adefeso at the University of Illinois.

Voorhees University Launches Its First Doctor of Education Degree Program

The new doctor of education in leadership program will offer two specialized tracks for students, preparing them to become successful leaders in their chosen educational field. Students can choose to focus their studies on either PK-12 education or higher education administration.

Fielding Graduate University Honors Ronald Mason for Lifetime Achievements in HBCU Leadership

Ronald Mason has served as president of three HBCUs: Jackson State University, Southern University and A&M College, and the University of the District of Columbia, where he was the longest tenured president in the university's history.

Featured Jobs