Elmer Russell White, Jr., ED.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Elmer Russell White, Jr., ED.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 22, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48181.

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Elmer Russell White, Jr., ED.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage


Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Music Elmer Russell White, Jr. (March 29, 1936-January 4, 2004) was born in Ashland, Kentucky, to the late Viola Sparks and Elmer R. White. He graduated from Ashland High School and was an Eagle Scout. He was a member of the 202nd Army Band for many years. White earned an A.B. degree in music from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, in 1957. While at Marshall, he placed first in the Charleston, West Virginia, Orchestra Concerto Competition and was a featured soloist with the orchestra in a performance of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto. He also earned the distinction of being one of only four trumpet students selected nationally to be members of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts, the summer residence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. There he studied with Roger Voisin, principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony, and played under internationally renowned orchestral conductors; Leonard Bernstein, director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Arthur Fiedler, director of the Boston Pops Orchestra; Charles Munch, director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Aaron Copland, noted composer; Lucas Foss, and others. He also performed with the acclaimed pianist Rudolf Serkin at his summer Marlboro Music Festival. In 1958 White was chosen to perform with the American Wind Symphony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. White taught band and choral music in Kentucky and Ohio public schools. He was awarded the M.F.A. degree in trumpet performance from Ohio University, Columbus, in 1959, where he served as graduate assistant to Charles Minelli, director of bands. That same year, he accepted a faculty position at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Youngston, Ohio, as professor of trumpet and director of bands. From 1959 to 1963, he was a member of the Youngstown Philharmonic Orchestra. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Joan Lynn Botsco, an oboist in the orchestra. They were married on June 3, 1961, at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown. The Whites traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway on their honeymoon, and spent two days in Boone, North Carolina, before heading east to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The couple had three sons: Elmer Russell III (February 17, 1962-April 22, 1989), Phi Beta Kappa (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), and a student in the Medical School at Duke University at the time of his death; Allan Stephen (January 31, 1963-), an Eagle Scout, and commercial fisherman in Kodiak, Alaska; and Dr. Marc Michael White (August 6, 1964-), a graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of North Texas, and now a professor of music at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, Oklahoma. In 1989, Drs. Lynn and Elmer White established an endowed scholarship in the name of their deceased son at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, for deserving pre-medical students. White joined the faculty at Appalachian State University in 1963 as an assistant professor of music. He taught a wide variety of music classes and ensembles during a thirty-year-plus career. In 1972 he earned the Ed.D. degree from Columbia University in New York City, where he conducted and co-authored several research studies, studied trumpet with Roy Stevens, and taught brass students at Bronxville High School in New York City. As a freelance trumpeter in New York, he played with such groups at The Bob Crosby Bobcats and in backup orchestras for Liberace, Helen Reddy, and others. White's research studies pertaining to trumpet- tone production and behavioral modification in music were published in national and international research journals and were also presented at national music conventions. He earned the rank of professor in 1977. During his thirty-seven-year teaching career at Appalachian State, Dr. White distinguished himself as a trumpet teacher, performer, researcher, clinician, adjudicator, and mentor to hundreds of students. For decades, he drove groups of students in an Appalachian State van to New York City, where they took trumpet lessons with his teacher; heard concerts by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; and attended Metropolitan Opera productions, Carnegia Hall recitals, and jazz performances; and experienced the sights of Dr. White's favorite big city. White established and conducted the Appalachian Wind Ensemble and directed the Appalachian State University jazz ensembles. He was appointed director of Graduate Studies in Music, and served on several university committees including the Academic Policies and Procedures Committee, the Graduate Council, the Search Committee for the music department chair, and the Graduate Admissions Committee in music. His professional affiliations include the North Carolina Music Education Association (chair, Higher Education Division); Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; the National Association of Wind and Percussion Instructors; the National Association of Jazz Educators; the College Music Society; the International Trumpet Guild; and the Society for Research in Music Education. During his academic career, Dr. White performed with such groups as the Appalachian Faculty Brass Quintet, the Appalachian Faculty Woodwind Quintet, the Cannon Camp Faculty Brass Quintet, and various faculty mixed ensembles. He was invited as guest conductor and adjudicator at numerous high school band concerts, competitions, and festivals throughout the Southeast, and presented brass instrument playing clinics/workshops in several North Carolina and South Carolina public schools. During their forty-two years of marriage, Drs. Lynn and Elmer White traveled extensively in thirty-seven states, in Canada, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Iceland, and Scotland. They shared a passion for classic cars and rode their Harley-Davidson motorcycles together for ten years. The Whites also performed together in many concerts, on and off campus, during their careers at Appalachian State University. Dr. White retired from Appalachian State in 1995, at which time he was awarded the rank of professor emeritus. He continued teaching part-time until 2000. Following their retirement, the Whites established the largest endowed scholarship fund in the School of Music at Appalachian State: the Elmer and Lynn White Wind Instrument Scholarship Endowment. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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