Baltimore tuba player from Freddie Gray's neighborhood

Baltimore tuba player from Freddie Gray's neighborhood


Richard Antoine White looks back on his life – poverty and an unsettled family life growing up in Sandtown; tuba studies at the Baltimore School of 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," White says, "regardless of your circumstances." in the documentary "RAW" (White's initials) by Baltimore filmmakers Darren Durlach and David Larson, co-founders or Early Light Media. They hope to put the finishing touches on the project and get into a film with the help of a $ 40,000 crowdfunding campaign through Indigogo.com. As of Nov. 1, about half the money has been raised. "I feel honored and humbled that," says White, 45. "There was an awe when they showed up in Albuquerque. I thought, you guys are going to follow me around with a camera? But I trusted this story appropriately. "Storytelling is a specialty for Durlach and Larson. They are their own production company (clients for their video work include companies and foundations, local and beyond), but also for the spotlighting worthy individuals and causes. "Dave and I both have a background in journalism," says Durlach, 36, a former Boston Globe photojournalist who also worked for Larson at Baltimore's WBFF-Channel 45. "We were community journalists. Our favorite stories were about people who overcame major obstacles; that was something we were inspired by and drawn to. "The duo decided to direct that interest into Invisible Thread, a venture they envisioned as a series of" people-driven stories. "They created the first Invisible Thread item in 2016 -" Throw "A 10-minute documentary about Coffin Nachtmahr, a young man from East Baltimore who grew up surrounded by violence," Durlach says, to emerge as a yo-yo virtuoso. [Why couldn’t $130 million transform one of Baltimore’s poorest places?] "Throw" had a screening at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where Durlach and Larson met the school's director, Chris Ford. "We were talking with him about an idea about the arts, specifically arts education, in our culture," Durlach says, "how the doctor are misunderstood, underfunded, and underutilized. And Chris said, "You know, you're going to be Richard White." That suggestion led the filmmakers to New Mexico, where the Baltimore School of the Arts graduate settled nearly 15 years ago after earning his bachelor's degree at Peabody and his master's and doctorate at Indiana University. "The second we did with Richard, we fell in love with him and were inspired by him," Durlach says. "And the more we looked into him, we knew this would be the next episode of Invisible Thread." For several days, the filmmakers shadowed his life in Albuquerque, where he is chief tuba in the New Mexico Philharmonic and associate professor. or tuba / euphonium and associate director of the Spirit Marching Band at the University of New Mexico. The action then shifted to Baltimore, where more filming took place at the Baltimore School for the Arts and Peabody. The filmmakers also accompanied White to places in Sandtown, where he spent years as a child and had largely avoided revisiting. "Family members would sometimes watch my mom and I sleep on a couch," White says. "Sometimes I drags under a tree or in an abandoned house. My mom had problems with alcoholism and finally gave me up. Her foster parents took me in. I still do not know the story of my family. I'm searching for answers. "White's return to the neighborhood provided rich material for the filmmakers. "What we witnessed was just a really beautiful, raw moment as the memories of his childhood came flooding back," Larson, 35, says, "visiting the old water fountain where he would bathe, or [returning to] the streets where we remember that baby Ricky. "" That experience proved critical in the process of making the documentary. "Richard remembers his stories with such clarity," Durlach says. "But, as journalists, we were a little skeptical. When that happened, Richard asked them, that was extra-gratifying for us as filmmakers. "After White's life, he found himself trumpet, then the tuba, which he learned with the help of a self-teaching tape. That gives him the confidence to go to the Baltimore School for the Arts, ready to audition for admission. There was just one problem. [Baltimore schools step up efforts to recruit, retain black teachers] "I walked in and saw this guy," White says. "I said," Yo, I came to audition. "He said," Auditions were yesterday. "" But I'm here today. "" That man was Chris Ford, who gifted and listened. White gained admission. "That proved to be a good decision on our part," Ford says. "He was an incredible worker. Through sheer grit, he was pushing everyone fits. And he was a delightful individual throughout. It was obvious he was on a higher level, and we were there to help him along. "Upon graduating, White entered Peabody on a scholarship and study tuba studies with David Fedderly, who was then principal tuba with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra . "I left almost every lesson crying," White says. "But I thought, this is not going to kill me. I could make money if I'm good at it. "And White was good at it. He performed with the Canadian Brass and several orchestras across the country before settling in New Mexico. He's passionate about baroque music (he has transcribed works or Bach for the tuba), along with the works of Wagner, Bruckner and Mahler. "I do not think I'm exceptionally talented," White says. "I just work my butt off. I still know as if I have never seen it before in my life. "White – his website is rawtuba.com – also finds time to give motivational talks, especially with people. music world. "Richard moved from someone who needed a handout to someone who now puts his hand out to help others," Ford says. "He's really powerful mentoring some of our kids." Durlach and Larson hope to be concocted on the life and rewards of White's life into a film or about 15 to 20 minutes. They are counting on the crowdfunding campaign – their first – to get "R.A.W." completed this month. "It's child or awkward to ask the public for help," Larson says. "But to do this right takes so much money. We have been putting almost endless amounts of money into account because we believe in the story so much. We think this [film] could have some small impact on the most vulnerable population of Baltimore. "White sees that possibility, too. "I believe there are hundreds of Richard Whites in Baltimore, but people just do not care," he says. "If more people did, you'd see an amazing metamorphosis of this city." – Baltimore Sun

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