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In Praise of Robert White

A former student wrote in response to the  November 2013 Faculty Portrait, of voice teacher Robert White, who’s known as Doc and who taught junior high school music in the 1960s.

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As one of Doc’s young charges in Flagstaff, Ariz., in the early ’60s, I would like to testify to the passion and warmth that Bob (as we will always know him) brought to the semicivilized wilds of the Ponderosa country. He took a mediocre program and transformed it into something that generated a world of pride in the young people involved. He created a community of various choral groups, including a “select” madrigal group that performed for many local civic groups and special events. He staged South Pacific in a place that had never seen a major musical presentation and filled the auditorium to overcapacity. An emergency call procured the rights for one more night. Packed the place again. And finally, Bob always treated us as fledgling, mature human beings, for which we will always be grateful. One of our number who became a professional singer maintains that we have no idea how lucky we were to have Bob White as an instructor and a friend.

Von Hatch
Submitted online

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