Professor William John Summers is a historical musicologist on the faculty of music at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (1984-present). He is the founder and Coordinator of the International Hispanic Music Study Group, a worldwide confederation of approximately 75 scholars and performers who explore music from or inspired by the cultures of the Iberian Peninsula. He is an Honorary Member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Pi Kapa Lamda, beta eta Chapter, has been a Senior Research Scholar in the Fulbright-Hayes program, and has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society and the Sinfonia Foundation.
At Dartmouth, Professor Summers is widely sought out as an advisor by music majors, having advised two Master's Theses, ten Senior Fellows in Music, thirteen Presidential Scholars and many honors theses and culminating experiences. His advisees have been awarded Fulbright-Hayes Research Scholarships and Reynolds Scholarships. They also have been admitted to prestigious graduate programs in a number of music disciplines at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the New England Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Oxford University, the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, The Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik, Weimar Germany, and the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, London.
Dr. Summers has devised a number of highly-respected courses on major composers including L. van Beethoven, W. A. Mozart and J. S. Bach. He also teaches many of the courses in the music history series. He Co-Directed the Dartmouth College Humanities Research Institute, "The Medieval Manuscript Book," in 1991, was a member of the Humanities Research Institute, "Los Angeles/La Frontera/Mexico City: Space Across Borders," for 2000, and also served as the director of the Faculty Medieval Seminar from 1991-1994. He has convened three international conferences in the Music Department and regularly hosts visiting performing ensembles such as Chanticleer, Cuarteto Latinoamericana and visiting faculty from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, England and Canada, for presentations in his courses
Professor Summers is the author of the book Fourteenth-Century English Polyphony (1983, Munich, Hans Schneider Verlag), and co-author of the book J. B. Sancho, Pioneering Composer of California (2007, University of the Balearic Islands Press). He has also published more than seventy different journal articles and reviews that have appeared in Early Music History, Music and Letters, The Journal of Musicology, Revista de Musicología, Revista Musicál Chilena, Inter-American Music Review and four Congress Reports of the International Musicological Society. These studies have been devoted to medieval English music, the first Roman music confraternity the Compagnia dei musici de Roma, George Frederick Handel and Spanish music from Alta California (1769-1850). He has also served as guest consultant and commentator on Hispanic music in the United States for the Public Broadcasting Series, All Things Considered. Recently, he provided musical editions and served as the musicological advisior for the recording, A Choir of Angels II: Music from the California Missions.
His research the past six years has been focused upon Spanish colonial music in Manila. His first publication on music in this historic city, "Music in Manila Cathedral, Some Historical Vignettes," appeared in December, 1997 in a new book Manila Cathedral, Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, edited by Fr. Ruperto Santos. He has authored three additional articles and the first entry ever to appear in a music encyclopedia on the City of Manila for the forthcoming seventh edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
On five continents, Professor Summers has presented more than seventy research papers, seminars and short courses at five Congresses of the International Musicological Society, eleven National Meetings of the American Musicological Society, The Aston Magna Academy, Oxford University, King's College, University of London, the Real Conservatorio de Música, Madrid, the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas and the Ateneo de Manila University, all in Manila.
Dr. Summers is also regularly invited to serve as a referee for the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music and Letters and Plainsong and Medieval Music. He is on the Editorial Board of the series Monuments in Latin American Music, published by Indiana University Press. He is often invited to serve as a referee for the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Canadian Research Council and the Research Council of Israel.