28 minutes, United States, 2019
This film is about a Baltimore child who experienced intermittent homelessness but went on to become a world-class symphony musician and professor. As a child, Richard Antoine White (R.A.W.) slept wherever he could, sometimes in abandoned rowhomes where he was chewed on by rats during his sleep. Now in his 40s, he still has the scars across his abdomen. But despite enormous challenges, he went on to become the first African American in the world to receive a Doctorate in Music for Tuba Performance (D.M. not to be confused with the less rare D.M.A.), and not just from anywhere, from one of the most prestigious music programs in the US. Richard is now not only a tenured professor at the University of New Mexico, but he’s also the principal tubist of the New Mexico Philharmonic, which is in and of itself an Olympian-level accomplishment.
The Baltimore School for the Arts, a rare gem in the education world for it’s extraordinary track record of success, is where his life changed from a self-described “yo boy” with little direction to becoming obsessed with Tuba and ultimately following his dreams out of poverty. The director of the Baltimore School for the Arts met Richard on a chance encounter and after a one-in-a-million audition he set off on a course that changed his life forever.
“The only thing that will stop me from being successful is death.” ~ R.A.W.
Director(s): David Larson & Darren Durlach