Mark Applebaum
Composer / Performer / Educator

Service Statement

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Mark Applebaum: Service Statement [activities since tenure]

Beyond my role as a teacher and artist practitioner, my commitment to Stanford is shown in my record of active campus service. My engagement has been broad, from departmental and programmatic impact to university governance. I aspire to be among the most involved faculty citizens at Stanford.

As outlined in my promotion statement, I served first as a member and then as the chair of C-UAFA (Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid) for which I convened an important roundtable of diverse high school principals to tell us what Stanford should be looking for, an inversion of the traditional resume arms race. Code named “The Rehabilitation of Childhood”—which to me is as earnest as it is implausibly optimistic—the idea was to say that Stanford and its peer institutions should stop boasting of the crushingly low admissions rate that confers elite status and start conceiving ourselves as unwitting, cartel perpetrators of the problem.

I am regularly invited to give lectures at glitzy alumni events such as Stanford+Connects in New York City, Leading Matters at the San Francisco Moscone Convention Center, Reunion-Homecoming Classes Without Quizzes presentations, and Parents Weekend lectures. I’ve twice given piano recitals for the alumni association in Paris (at the American Cathedral), performed for the Stanford Women’s Club of the East Bay, and served as Faculty Speaker at the Admissions Office’s admitted students recruiting event at the Los Angeles Public Library.

On campus I’ve given many performances, including the Music Department’s commencement exercises, several CCRMA concerts, a Mind Altering Concert at the Kimball Arts Dormitory featuring sound-sculptures, a free Concerto for Florist and Ensemble concert at the Cantor Arts Center, in performances of the Applebaum Jazz Piano Duo, in my own portrait concerts, at the Daniel Pearl Memorial Concert, at colleague Clifford Nass’ Memorial Service, and by curating a POPCORN! video concert. I have performed with students on an Admit Weekend Art+Invention concert in Memorial Auditorium, and, although an off campus event, I have taken the students of my ensemble [sic]—the Stanford Improvisation Collective—to perform at Mills College.

I have given lectures at the Development Office’s Annual Retreat, at a Cantor Arts Center Open House Gallery Talk as well as an Advisory Council Presentation, to international students in Stanford’s English Language Program, and to high school students in the Pre-Collegiate Studies Program. I’ve given a lecture-demonstration at the Law School’s Great Minds series to law faculty, and twice given lectures at the Hillel’s My Search for Meaning series.

Additional presentations at Stanford include the Graphic Narrative Project at the Humanities Center, the Dance Department Colloquium, a jazz presentation for Continuing Studies, an Undergraduate Arts Circle presentation, and multiple “music appreciation” lectures for the Stanford Lively Arts (for whom I’ve also moderated post-concert panels). I have emceed the Music Department Awards Concert, served as Alpha Phi Omega charity auction auctioneer, and taken part in the fabled Latke-Hamantash Debate at the Stanford Law School (debating successfully for the hamantash side).

Other campus talks and presentations include ones to new humanities faculty, a freshman orientation advising panel, and a talk to humanities fellows. I’ve also given many presentations to undergraduate students in dormitories (Larkin, Soto, Kimball, Roble, and Burbank to memory, and probably others), attended countless faculty dinners, and taken part in the annual Sophomore Class Faculty Dinner.

In the years since tenure I have guest lectured in several of my colleagues’ classes. These include Kronengold’s American Song in the 20th Century and after; Cohn’s American Music Seminar; Chafe’s Sophomore College; Berger’s ITALIC (Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture) program; Kapuscinski’s undergraduate composition seminar; Sano’s Taiko Community Alliance; and the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Chamber Music Seminar. I have also presented at the CCRMA Colloquium and guest lectured in the TA training (Music 280) curriculum.

I’m especially proud of my involvement selecting the common reading and moderating the panel for the 2012 freshman orientation program Three Books, one in which I, as an artist, was deliberately invited to think beyond the book as the solely puissant mode of expression. This was a precious chance to serve Stanford as an institutional citizen and make the broadest impact as an educator. A link to my video introduction—in which I explain the rationale for my selections—appears in the online portfolio (under Three Books in Other Work).

As noted elsewhere, I have also exerted significant influence over our DMA admissions and I’m extremely proud of the diverse community of student composers we have assembled. None of them sound like any of us on the faculty, and I love that. Most recently I have secured a three-year grant affording our graduate composers an annual budget of $70,000 for the performance of new works, a resource that has made an enormously favorable impact on the program through substantial collaborations with many top ensembles throughout the world leading to both well-prepared public performances and excellent recordings. I have also co-produced the <541> Music from Stanford CD series featuring the music of graduate composers (Volume 4 was released since tenure).

My wife and I also host numerous social events in our home (or occasionally at a restaurant) for graduate composers and visiting ensembles and composers, such as Elision, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Beta Collide, SoundGear, Rand Steiger, Julio Estrada, Chaya Czernowin, Lewis Nielson, George Lewis, Charles Amirkhanian, etc. This may sound like a trivial thing to report, but I’m convinced that the health of our program is linked, at least in part, to the social atmosphere that I nourish deliberately. We also host dinners annually for the UCSD Graduate Student Exchange—a program I devised in 2006 in which two of our students guest lecture at another campus and, in turn, we receive two visiting students to ours. (The program has since expanded to include UC Berkeley.) We have also hosted other events such as dinners in honor of colleagues (e.g., Stephen Sano, Jenny Bilfield, Brian Ferneyhough), and other visitors (e.g., Dave Douglas and Bill Morrison, Trimpin, John Adams, SO Percussion).

I have also served on several Stanford search committees: faculty musicologist (Kronengold), faculty composer (Kapuscinski; as committee chair), and director of the Bing Overseas Study Program (Saldívar). I’ve chaired the committee for Jaroslaw Kapuscinski’s reappointment case and tenure case, and served on the committee for the reappointment of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. I’ve also served on the Music Department’s Undergraduate Studies Committee and Graduate Studies Committee.

At present I serve on the Bing Overseas Study Program Oversight Committee and will review Stanford’s Paris site this coming year. I was elected to the Fortieth and Forty-First Faculty Senate, and I’ve served on various university committees such as SUES (the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford), the Provost’s Diversity Cabinet, the Introductory Seminars Advisory Board, the Introductory Seminars Award Committee, the Stanford Lively Arts Advisory Committee, the Stanford Initiative in the Creative Arts Undergraduate Task Force, and the Subcommittee on University Honors Awards. I also took part in informal conversations with the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education in preparation for Stanford’s WASC accreditation, and served informally on the Bing Concert Hall Planning Committee.

Off campus I have curated and organized the extensive UCSD Sonic Diasporas Alumni Reunion Festival (as chair), served on ICMC and American Composers Forum adjudication committees, acted as an external referee for a Florida State University grant review and for twelve tenure and promotion cases at ten institutions: University of Michigan; Boston University; University of California, Irvine; University of California, San Diego (2); University of California, Berkeley (2); Concordia University, Montreal; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Northwestern University; University of Pittsburgh; and the University of North Texas. At present I serve as a board member of the Other Minds new music organization.