Mary Jeanne van Appledorn's career at Texas Tech which spans 57 years, is one of the
longest tenures in university history.
When she began her career at Texas Tech University, it was still a college, Harry
Truman served as president and Silly Putty had just found its way to toy store shelves.
Mary Jeanne van Appledorn has had a remarkable career, including earning the rank
of Horn Professor, as well as international recognition for her compositions and
The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Music will celebrate
one of the longest careers at the university with a concert in her honor Sunday (Sept.
The concert and celebration starts with a Carillon performance of van Appledorn's
music at 2 p.m. at Memorial Circle and progresses to an indoor concert at 3 p.m.
at Hemmle Recital Hall in the School of Music Building.
The event will feature faculty members David Dees, Kirsten Yon, Lora Deahl, the Devienne
Trio, Amy Anderson and William Westney, along with organist Sigurd Øgaard. A reception
in the Lubbock Room of the Student Union follows the brief concert.
Van Appledorn began her career at TTU as chair of music theory and composition in
1950. She earned a Bachelor’s of Music in 1948, a Master’s of Music in 1950 and her
doctorate in 1966 from the Eastman School of Music. From 1970-1982, she chaired the
graduate programs in the Department of Music and was named Horn Professor of Music
in 1989 for her scholarship, creativity and service.
Recognizing the significance of her compositions and their annual performance, she
received 25 standard awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
She is listed in the prestigious New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd
Edition, 2001; the Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th Edition; the
International Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory, 1998/99; and the ASCAP
Composing Young Minds
During van Appledorn’s 57-year tenure at Texas Tech she developed the musical skills
of thousands of students who attended her theory and composition classes. Her students
hold significant positions in the music profession and credit her years as a composer,
performer and scholar for her abilities as a teacher.
“Her teaching style of examining the details, being relentless on expectations, comprehensive
in her presentations and constantly inspirational in her delivery is manifested in
her devotion to students,” said Robert Tucker, a former doctoral student and dean
of the School of Music and Fine Arts at Howard Payne University. “
Although she absolutely insisted on accuracy of assignments, she never let the minutiae
interfere with the overall product of making music. Applying this practice to life,
I learned to be fastidious with the details of my job, my family and my projects
without ever sacrificing the higher goals and purpose.”
She is a member of ASCAP, Society of Composers International, League of Women Composers,
Delta Kappa Gamma (International Scholar, 1959-60), Mu Phi Epsilon, Alpha Chi Omega,
Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts invites you to a concert and celebration
in honor of Mary Jeanne van Appledorn and her career, Sunday, Sept. 7.
- 2 p.m. Carillon Concert - Memorial Circle
- 3 p.m. Concert - Hemmle Recital Hall
Admission to both concerts is free and open to the public.
School of Music
The School of Music is part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
With more than 500 students, the size is ideal for creating larger ensembles as well
as ensuring individual attention with private study.
Faculty includes a performing specialist on all band and orchestral instruments as
well as piano, voice, organ, harp and guitar, and specialists in conducting, composition,
electronic music, music education, musicology, world music and music theory.
Photo of van Appledorn by Artie Limmer.