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Dr. Christopher White


Director of the Jazz Ensemble
Instructor of Music Education and Saxophone

Porterfield 127
Box 6968
Phone: (540) 831-6493
Fax: (540) 831-6133

Born in Northern California, Dr. Christopher K White (BMI) saxophone, flute, composer, arranger, educator, clinician grew up in small town America where he found musical success early, playing his first professional gig at age 10. An eclectic musician, he studied conducting, saxophone and composition while performing in the studios and club scenes of Los Angeles. His education and teaching career have led him across the country: California to Kansas, Baton Rouge to Boston, Montana to Maine, and finally to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Along the way he has conducted and soloed with orchestras, bands and jazz ensembles from coast to coast. Popular as a clinician and dedicated to education, he continues to be active as a clinician and performer, presenting workshops in Jazz Studies, Improvisation, Program Building, Student Leadership and Conducting.  Dr. White is a recording artist for the Artists Recording Collective (ARC) label and serves as the Director of Instrumental Music for the RU Governor’s School for the Performing Arts. 

Christopher has studied arranging and improvisation with Ladd McIntosh and Hank Levy and has performed with Cheryl Bentyne, Dionne Warwick, Ben E. King, Lou Christie, Leslie Gore, the Temptations, the Spinners, Ringling Brothers Circus, the Stan Kenton Orchestra and was active in the studio and club scenes in Los Angeles and Boston. He has recorded four albums as a solo artist or director including the soon to be re-released Old Friends – Together Again with guitarist Tom Hoffmann, and In My Own Sweet Time, which was released on the ARC label in December of 2010.

As a woodwind specialist, Dr. White has studied saxophone with Kenneth Radnofsky, Ladd McIntosh and William Calkins, flute with John Heitman, Angelita Floyd and Andrea Loewy, and clarinet with Charles Bay and J. Roger Cole. Christopher has also studied conducting with Lukas Foss, David Whitwell, Allan McMurray and Robert Spevacek. He has performed with orchestras throughout the nation including the Baton Rouge Symphony, Billings Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra.

As an educator, Dr. White has sent students to the Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin, Hartt and New England Conservatories, New School and Manhattan Schools of Music and numerous universities throughout the country as both education and performance majors. Christopher has many former students enjoying careers as both educators and performers with such groups as the U.S. Military Bands and the Philip Glass Ensemble.

Professor White’s educational philosophy is direct and simple. “I believe in developing thinking, feelingful musicians, not only skilled performers but literate communicators able to share their joy and passion. It is essential that I engage them in finding their own musical voice.”

He lives in Christiansburg, Virginia with his daughters Kathryn, McKenzie, and Brianna.


Ph.D     Kansas State University - Curriculum and Instruction (2010)
             Dissertation: The Communication of Musical Expression as Exemplified in Jazz Performance

M.M.     University of Louisiana-Lafayette (1986)
             Emphasis in Conducting

B.M.     California State University, Northridge (1984)
             Saxophone Performance


  • In My Own Sweet Time, Christopher White and Pandemusicum (ARC)
  • Old Friends ~ Together Again, Christopher White and Tom Hoffmann
  • Feeling Better and Better, Tom Hoffmann and Friends
  • From the Inside: The Rick Bishop Quartet
  • What 4: The Rick Bishop Quartet

Recent Presentations

The Expressive Performer and the Engaged Listener: Creating connection in an imagined world. L’aprentissage de la musique: son apport pour la vie de l’apprenant du XXIe siècle, Quebec City, Canada

The Expressive Performer and the Engaged Listener: Creating connection in an imagined world.  College Music Society International Conference, Seoul, South Korea

The Expressive Performer and the Engaged Listener: Creating connection in an imagined world. Jazz Educators Network International Conference, Louisville, KY

Revisiting George Russell’s Lydian Concept. Poster Session, College Music Society National Conference, Atlanta, Georgia

Engaging the Listener: Strategies for enabling perceptive listening. Virginia, Deleware, New Jersey, Tennesse, & Kansas Music Educators State In-Service,

Advanced Musicianship Techniques in the Beginning Instrumental Program: making them basic. Virginia, Tennessee, New Jersey, Kansas, Montana Music Educators State In-Service

Shadows of the 7 Fish! Habits that Moved My One-Minute Cheese: Insights into ensemble and classroom management. Virginia Music Educators State In-Service

Journey to the City of Jazz: Tips on starting a jazz program and integrating jazz into your curriculum. Virginia Music Educators State In-Service

Great Things in Small Packages: Surviving and excelling in the small school program. Virginia, Delaware, Tennessee, Kansas, Montana Music Educators State In-Service

Previous Positions

Dodge City Community College, Dodge City, KS: Director of Bands and Music Education
Kansas Conference of Music Teacher Education Professionals (KCOMTEP); President
Waterville Public Schools (ME): Director of Bands (5-12)
Maine Music Educators Association: Vice President of Jazz Activities
Lawrence High School (ME): Artist-in-Residence (Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chamber Music)
Capitol Region Gifted and Talented, Augusta, ME
University of Maine-Augusta: Music Pedagogy, Music Business, Flute
Colby College (ME): Director of Band Activities (Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone)
Rocky Mountain College (MT): Director of Bands & Head of Music Education

Professional Activities at RU

MUSC 134                   Jazz Combo
MUSC 277                   Woodwind Techniques

MUSC 330                    Applied Saxophone
MUSC 354                    Introduction to Conducting
MUSC 364/464             Jazz Techniques I & II

MUSC 418/518             Arranging and Orchestration
MUSC 434/534             Jazz Ensemble
MUSC 462                    Teaching Intern Supervision

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations:
National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
Jazz Education Network (JEN)
College Music Society (CMS)
National Association of Wind and Percussion Instructors
North American Saxophone Alliance
Pi Kappa Lamda
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia

Links of Interest