ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION

MAIN ENTRY:                                          Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne

DATE OF INTERVIEW:                            June 8, 2000

LOCATION OF INTERVIEW:                   Lubbock, Texas

INTERVIEWER:                                          Leslie Dutton

NUMBER OF REELS/TAPES:                    2

TAPE FORMAT:                                        Cassette

LENGTH OF INTERVIEW:                       1 hour, 4 minutes

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE:               Dr. Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn talks about her education in music, her musical compositions, and the establishment of the Texas Tech music department. 

ABSTRACT:                                               Musical career of Dr. Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn

TAPE ONE             SIDE ONE

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 VanAppledorn 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 ONE             SIDE TWO

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 TWO – SIDE ONE

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

RANGE DATES:                                               Unknown

BULK DATES:                                                 1945 - 1997

AGE OF INFORMANT:                                    Unknown

GENDER OF INFORMANT:                            Female

ETHNICITY OF INFORMANT:                       Anglo