Tuba player overcomes poverty and lack of opportunities to build a life in classical music

Posted on: November 5, 2018

“Richard Antoine White looks back on his life—poverty and an unsettled family life; tuba studies at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Peabody Institute and Indiana University; his current jobs with the New Mexico Philharmonic and University of New Mexico—and sums it up simply: ‘The American Dream is still alive and well,’ ” writes Tim Smith in Saturday’s (11/3) Baltimore Sun. “White’s successful pursuit of that dream has been chronicled in the documentary R.A.W. (White’s initials) by Baltimore filmmakers Darren Durlach and David Larson … The filmmakers shadowed White to chronicle his life in Albuquerque, where he is principal tuba in the New Mexico Philharmonic and associate professor of tuba/euphonium and associate director of the Spirit Marching Band at the University of New Mexico…. Filmmakers also accompanied White to places in [Baltimore’s] Sandtown, where he spent difficult years as a child…. ‘My mom had problems with alcoholism and finally gave me up,’ [White recalls].… After White’s life smoothed out with the help of his foster parents, he found himself drawn to music—first the trumpet, then the tuba, which he learned partly with the help of a self-teaching tape. That gave him the confidence to go to the Baltimore School for the Arts … [then] Peabody on a scholarship.”

Posted November 5, 2018