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"I'm Possible": Richard White's trip from the streets to the symphony

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Richard Antoine White grew up in West Baltimore's Sandtown neighborhood. Today, he plays tuba with the New Mexico Philharmonic. His new memoir is called “I’m Possible: A Story of Survival, a Tuba, and the Small Miracle of a Big Dream." (Photo: Adam Fenster)

Tom's guest today is Richard Antoine White, an extraordinary classical musician with an extraordinary story. It begins in Sandtown-Winchester, on Baltimore’s West Side, in difficult circumstances, and bad, if not impossible odds.

In his new memoir, wryly titled "I'm Possible," Richard chronicles how he beat those odds. How he smashed barriers. How he developed a career full of firsts.

Richard is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and The Peabody Institute, as well as Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where he became the first African American in the country to be awarded a doctorate in tuba performance.

Today, Dr. White is in his fifth season as a member of the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra. He also teaches at the University of New Mexico, where he is Associate Professor of tuba/euphonium, and Associate Director of the Spirit Marching Band.

His teacher and mentor at Peabody was David Fedderly, the former tubist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. David Fedderly joins us briefly on Zoom from his home in South Carolina.

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Published by Flatiron Books/MacMillan Publishers

The full title of Richard Antoine White's memoir is I’m Possible: A Story of Survival, a Tuba, and the Small Miracle of a Big Dream.  (Flatiron Books)

Richard Antoine White joins us on Zoom from his home in Albuquerque, NM.

Richard Antoine White will discuss and read selections from his book, in conversation with writer Judith Krummeck, at the Enoch Pratt Library's free Writers Live! series event tomorrow (October 7) at 7pm. For more information and to register, click here.

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