Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony “Tony” White.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Anthony. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a native of Los Angeles. My love for music started when I began playing clarinet at Charles Drew Middle School in seventh grade. At Narbonne High School I took up the saxophone, which has been my primary instrument ever since. In high school, I looked forward to making music every day. Playing music allowed me to enjoy a different world. Along with being in my high school band, I joined the LAUSD All District High School Honor Band, an experience that changed my life forever. It was when I decided that I wanted a career in music.
But, being the first in my family to attend college, I thought I needed to be more practical with a career choice, so I decided to pursue a degree in business. That did not work out because my passion for performing and teaching was pulling me strongly. I changed my major and have been heavily involved in the Los Angeles Community as a music educator and musician, since I graduated from UC Riverside in 1989.
I taught at John C. Fremont HS for ten years as the instrumental music teacher. Looking back, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was able to teach music, meet great people and serve the community in which I grew up. I was also able to manage a performing schedule that allowed me to perform and learn from L. A. Jazz legends such as Buddy Collette, Bill Green, Gerald Wilson, and others.
In my current position, I am the coordinating administrator in charge of the LAUSD – Beyond the Bell Music and Entertainment Education Program. Our program oversees projects such as the Annual Band and Drill Team Championships, LAUSD – BTB -Herbie Hancock Jazz Academy and the project that started it all – The LAUSD All District High School band.
The All District High School band brings students from all corners of the LAUSD to learn and ultimately perform at the Tournament of Roses Parade and other high profile events. I have been involved with the band since 1984 as a student, and have been at its helm of it for 20 years. We will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2022. Running All City Band is truly a labor of love and has been the model I use to help guide our various partnerships in the community.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Easy? No. I grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, the oldest of ten children, raised by a single mother. I am the first in my family to graduate from college. My road was not smooth, by any means. But following my passion, fighting for more music in the classrooms, for more music opportunities for students, playing music…these are the things that make a bumpy road worthwhile.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Los Angeles Unified School District – Beyond the Bell Music and Entertainment Education story. Tell us more about the business.
The goal of our business is to assist students, families and the public at large. We want to show them what music and the arts bring to society; to illuminate the various pathways that are possible. We work with various organizations to partner with teachers and schools to help bring positive programs to the student in the LAUSD.
We are most proud of the LAUSD All District High School Honor band and Jazz Academy where we can showcase our students on the world stage. We are set apart from the others because we include everyone who wants to participate on a serious level and student come from the all the various communities that make up L.A.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A tremendous amount of passion, love, tenacity, and blessings has played a role in making our organization one that has stood the test of time, and continues to grow stronger every year. Being consistent and known for producing quality performers and students helps as well.
- Accepting donations to the program $25 and up
- Address: 333 South Beaudry, 29th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
- Website: www.btb.lausd.net
- Phone: 213-241-7900
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @laallcity
- Facebook: @laallcityjazzband
- Twitter: @btbla
- Yelp: #Goallcity
- Other: www.laallcityband.com
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