Horace Maxile Relocates to Baylor University
This June, Associate Director of Research Horace Maxile left his position at the CBMR to join the theory faculty of the Department of Music at Baylor University. He will continue his research agenda and is looking forward to returning to the classroom. His interests in musical semiotics, jazz analysis, and concert music by African-American composers will be great assets to the Waco, Texas, school.
Maxile was already a tenured professor when he joined the CBMR in 2007. Since then, he has become an invaluable member of the staff who has leveraged a strong background in musicology and music theory on behalf of the Center’s mission. Maxile has contributed to the design and implementation of special research projects and scholarly events and has generally advanced the CBMR’s visibility in the scholarly community through a multifaceted range of service, publications, presentations, and other activities.
Maxile’s scholarly activities have enriched Columbia College as well as local and national communities. He has served as a regular guest lecturer and presenter at Columbia and other local colleges and universities, including serving as the keynote speaker for the Blues and the Spirit Symposium at Dominican University, an invited speaker at the Northwestern University Musicology Colloquium, and as a presenter at local churches. In 2010 he conceptualized and organized a Critical Encounters panel on Black Music and Spirituality for which he brought three leading thinkers in the field to the Columbia campus for the well-attended panel. He has developed an innovative series of 27 podcasts that explore a variety of black music topics ranging from soul music to black women composers and to Chicago Blues. Written and narrated by Maxile, this series has been widely utilized by Columbia faculty and by interested scholars and laypeople nationally. He has written richly-detailed program notes for all the recordings in the Recorded Music of the African Diaspora series thus far and has researched and pursued opportunities for collections development at the Center. Most recently, composer Frederick Tillis contributed materials to the Center largely because of his relationship with Maxile. He also serves the CBMR as editor of Black Music Research Journal, a role he assumed from Christopher Wilkinson in 2011, and in which he will continue to serve for another year.
Maxile’s own research agenda has been consistently full during his CBMR tenure. He is a frequent presenter, panel organizer, and moderator at national scholarly conferences. He recently moderated two panels at the Videmus @ 25 Festival at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Treemonisha” and “The Black Composer: Past Perspectives, Current Trends, and Future Directions.” He served as an associate editor on the already indispensable three-volume reference work The Encyclopedia of African American Music (Greenwood Press, 2010). He has also published articles in numerous scholarly outlets including Black Music Research Journal, Journal of Black Studies, and Lone Star Legacy: African American History in Texas. Maxile did not view his own research agenda as separate from the CBMR’s, however. As exhibited by his ongoing research initiative focused on the musical legacies of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Maxile was able to bring a holistic understanding of the field and the organization to his work that strengthened both.
In addition to these highlights, Maxile has been a thoughtful colleague and a committed mentor, traits that will surely make his students and coworkers at Baylor appreciate him as much as we have. While sorry to see him go, we at the CBMR are also excited for Horace as he embarks on the next phase of his career. Please drop him a line at his new address.