Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne 2000-06-08

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Dr. Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn talks about her education in music, her musical compositions, and the establishment of the Texas Tech Music Department.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 08, 2000

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Leslie Dutton

Length: 1 hour 4 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Van Appledorn Family, Musical family, Father was an organist and Traveler’s Insurance agent, Evenings around the piano, Music lessons, Van Appledorn, Ruth, Mary’s sister – 9 years older, Education, Record collection, Childhood experiences that nurtured creativity, Began creating music before learning notes, Background of how Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn went to Eastman College of Music, Father’s sudden death - 1944, Move to Alma, MI then to Topeka, KA, Family grand piano shipped to Topeka High School, Mary Jeanne was valedictorian at Topeka High School, Ruth’s help with Mary Jeanne’s attending Eastman, Studies at Eastman School of Music – May, 1945, Student body largely older returning soldiers, Started at Eastman at age 16, Lived with mother at the Knights of Columbus, Mother, Did not finish high school, Worked at a women’s clothing store and provided free clothing, Eastman School of Music (again), Studied with Cecile(?) Staub Garnheart, George Eastman’s contribution to Eastman’s faculty, Established in approximately 1933, Compositions, Meliora, By-word for Rochester University, Eastman (again), Completed bachelor’s degree in three years, Burrill Phillips, composer and theory professor, Compositions (again), Cellano Rhapsody – 1947, Influenced by Earnest Block’s work (World War II sounds – very emotional), Songs Without Words, Contrast for Piano, Three pieces, Chosen for New York ballet, Contains Block’s emotional sounds, William Schuman, head of Juliard, Example of Schuman’s bi-cords, Sister’s influence on Mary Jeanne’s musical training, Fellowship at Eastman, Master’s degree in Theory – 1950, Thesis on Debussy’s Suite For Piano, Debussy influence, Physical limitation in playing some music, Interview in New York City with Gene Hemley of Texas Tech University – 1950, Preparations for moving to Lubbock, Texas, Move to Lubbock, Texas – August, 1950, Establishing Texas Tech University’s Music Department, Raymond Elliott’s music theory text book, Establishing degrees first, National Assoc. of Schools of Music (NASM), 30 music majors, Gene Hemley and his mother.

Tape 1, Side 2: Gene Hemley (again), Establishing Texas Tech University’s Music Department (again), Ensembles, Dr. Van Appledorn’s work establishing degrees and teaching, Compositions (again), Set of Five – 1952, Examples, Music’s kinship to visual arts, Compositions (again), Set of Five (again), Examples, Debussy influence, Mother (again), Response to Mary Jeanne’s Set of Five, Difficulties with travel, Mother (again), Died in 1954, Compositions (again), Concerto Bravis, Conservation between Dr. Van Appledorn and the interviewed, RE:music and quality of paper, Symposiums at Texas Tech University, First held in 1951 to honor opening of the new building, Thirty-one symposiums in all, Guests to the symposiums, Last symposium – 1982, Dr. Van Appledorn’s recruitment of symposium guests and TTU faculty, Texas Tech’s name change, Impact on recruitment, Controversy, Symposiums (again), Construction of the Texas Tech music building, Inspiration for a composition, Stages of completion of the music building, Left Texas Tech for post graduate work at MIT - 1982, Knenipper, David, Filled in for Dr. Van Appledorn while at MIT, Video entitled Heart Beat, Return to Texas Tech, Injury leading to hospitalization, David Knenipper’s help while hospitalized, Unsettling life experiences, Beginning college at 16 years of age - 1945, MIT and their computer system - 1982, Injury and Hospitalization - 1983, Hickory Tree Fire - 1997, Compositions (again), Wrote a composition for Amy Anderson, The Five Psalms, written for Carl Dent, Procedure used in composing The Five Psalms, Writing music by hand vs. using a computer, Return to Texas Tech (again), The stress regarding the return to TTU, Injury (again), Impressions of Europe - 1982.

Tape 2, Side 1: Conversation between Dr. Van Appledorn and the interviewer Re: continuation of interview, Compositions (again), Uptown Blue, Conversation between Dr. Van Appledorn and the interviewer RE: materials being given.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: Unknown

Bulk Dates: 1945-1997

Access Information

Original Recording Format: audio cassette and mini-disc

Recording Format Notes: access copy available in reading room

Transcript: dspace link:

Related Interview: Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne 2000-08-15

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