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Jon Appleton: Outspoken and Out There

Jon Appleton1.jpgA concernt celebrating Jon Appleton’s 75th birthday will be held tonight in White River Junction in the Center for Cartoon Studies’ old Post Office building. The Valley News summarized Jon’s extraordinary career in a recent article excerpted below, but let me add my own praise for Jon’s outspokenness regarding Dartmouth’s decline, and most particularly, on the heretofore lack of competent and honest leadership in Parkhurst. A great many members of the faculty are with Jon down the line about the weak administrations that the College has long endured, but Jon is one of the few people to say in public the same things that he says in private.

For a representative Appletonian broadside, look here. Otherwise, find the time to go to Jon’s birthday concert:

To call Appleton a fixture in the Upper Valley doesn’t quite do him justice. Born in Los Angeles, he studied at Reed College in Oregon and at Columbia University and came to Dartmouth in 1967. With the support of Dartmouth President John Kemeny, who believed everyone should make use of computers in their work, he became a pioneer in electronic music. Dartmouth had one of the first digital music studios in the country, and Appleton developed the Dartmouth Digital Synthesizer.

Appleton later cofounded New England Digital with Sydney Alonso, a professor at the Thayer School, and Cameron Jones, a graduate student, a company that developed the Synclavier, a groundbreaking commercial synthesizer…

The concert, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 27 with doors to open at 6:30, will feature a performance by Appleton himself, an unusual event for a musician who works primarily as a composer. Other performers will include Appleton’s son, singer-songwriter JJ Appleton; Woodstock jazz musician Fred Haas, who was a student of Appleton’s at Dartmouth; Kojiro Umezaki, a collaborator of Appleton’s who also performs with YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble; Paul Botelho, a composer and former Dartmouth grad student of Appleton’s; composer Yuri Spitsyn; and pianist Minkyung Oh, who just recorded a CD of Appleton’s recent compositions, short works based on pieces by Domenico Scarlatti and Francois Couperin.

Admission to the concert is free, but it’s standing room only — all the seating has already been reserved. The concert poster said no ticket or RSVP is required.

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