Composer and Cellist John White Inducted As National Patron

Dr. John White was inducted as a National Patron of Delta Omicron on December 11, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. The ceremony occurred after Zeta Zeta Chapter’s Founders Day Banquet. Gamma Province President and Zeta Zeta President Karen Harris conducted the ceremony as the Board’s official representative. The program that followed the induction included a performance of Dr. White’s composition Flower Songs, performed by Zeta Zeta members Megan Buness, soprano, and Donna Levene, piano.

John White, Fulbright-University of Vienna Distinguished Chair in Humanities (2003-04) was born in Rochester, Minnesota in 1931 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. He also holds the Masters of Arts and Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester where he studied composition with Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers. Dr. White also studied for short periods with Nadia Boulanger and Ross Lee Finney.

From 1980 to 1997, White taught composition and cello at the University of Florida where he is now Professor of Music Emeritus. In early and mid-career, he was Professor of Music at the Kent State University and Whitman College. In the 1970’s he was Dean of the School of Music of Ithaca College. He also has served as Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Now living in Westminster, Colorado, John White’s music is frequently performed at meetings of the Society of Composers, Inc. and over the years by the Cleveland Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Oklahoma City Symphony, Akon Symphony, Madison Symphony, and numerous university and community ensembles.

White’s mature compositions total 60, and his most recent published compositions include Palindromes for Native American Flute (J.P. Publications), Time and water for Horn and Piano (R.M. Williams Publishing), and Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble (Ludwig Music Publishers) premiered by the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Flutist Bonita Boyd. Palindromes for Native American Flute has been recorded by James Pellerite on the Zalo/Provincia label.

White is a prolific composer for the human voice and chorus. A thirty-minute a cappella choral work entitled The Canonical Hours, Eight Anthems for the Divine Offices was composed by John White in 2005. Based on Latin poems of the Middle Ages, the composition was premiered in a series of concerts in March 2005 by the Saint Martin’s Chamber Choir of Denver and has been released commercially by the Saint Martin’s Chamber Choir on a CD entitled Monastic Echoes. White’s Olympiad was awarded a prize in the Van Guard Voices International Composition Contest of 2004. A recent work by John White is his Music for Victims of our Earth, a thirty-minute a cappella setting of the ordinary of the Mass to remember the victims of the Tsunami of 2004-05. It was premiered by the Kantele Ensemble on November 29, 2005 at the King Center of Metro State University in downtown Denver.

In 1996, Dr. White held a Fulbright Research Fellowship to Reykjavik, and in 1997, a Fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation to Göteborg, Sweden. His newest book is entitled New Music of the Nordic Countries (Pendragon Press, New York, 2002), and among his other books in print are Theories of Musical Texture in Western History (Garland Publishing, 1995) and Comprehensive Musical Analysis (Scarecrow Press, 1994, paperback 2003). His music is recorded on Advent, Mark, Capstone, Opus One, and Zalo/Provincia labels; and his compositions are published by G. Schirmer, Galaxy, Lawson-Gould, Ludwig, RMW, and others. White also has published many articles in scholarly journals. In 1998 College Music Symposium published his article “The Musical World of Hildegard of Bingen” to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the birth of this medieval composer, poet, painter, and mystic.

John White is also an active cellist who has performed chamber music and solo recitals throughout the United States and occasionally in European countries. In the mid-fifties he performed widely in Europe and was principal cellist of the Seventh Army Symphony from 1954-56 under the batons of the late Henry Lewis, Kenneth Schermerhorn, and Ronald Ondrejka. He also has served as principal cellist of several American orchestras including the Eastman Philharmonia under Howard Hanson and the Akron Orchestra under Louis Lane. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, he was cellist of The Florida Baroque Ensemble and The Florida Arts Trio. He is currently cellist of The Kantele Ensemble in Denver. His programs have included many contemporary American works including the world premiere performance of Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. Three in 1965, at the University of Michigan.

White has received many awards for his compositions throughout the years including the prestigious Benjamin Award from the Eastman School of Music for his Symphony No. 2 in 1960. His music has been awarded prizes from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, ASCAP, The American Music Center, and many other organizations. He is a member of ASCAP, The Society of Composers, Inc., and the College Music Society, and he is listed in Who’s Who in America. He is married to Dr. Marjorie A. White, a nurse and family sociologist. They have three children and five grandchildren.