B.C. music teacher behind 'Mr. White's Opus' seeks footage of past performances

A beloved retired band teacher in Trail, B.C., is seeking video footage of concerts and parade performances to be featured in a museum exhibit.

Clark White, a retired band teacher from Trail, B.C., to be featured in museum exhibit

Clark White is looking for more photos and videos of the high school band from Trail, B.C., performing in parades.

A beloved retired music teacher from Trail, B.C. is hoping someone has footage of the high school band's past performances though he knows it will make him cry.

For more than three decades, Clark White taught band at J.L. Crowe Secondary School in the small West Kootenay town.

Now, the local museum is putting together an exhibit about past teachers and White has been asked to contribute photos and videos.

"I couldn't have chosen a better path to take down in this life," said White.

When he retired in 1998, students called White's final tribute concert "Mr. White's Opus," a reference to the film Mr. Holland's Opus about a much-loved high school band teacher.

Students surprised him, bringing together current and former students, family members and colleagues.

"They pulled off a whole bunch of things unbeknownst to me. It still brings back tremendous emotions," he said.

While White has already given the museum a DVD of that performance, he's hoping the public can help track down footage of the bands' parade performances.

Fancy turns, dropped mouthpieces

"Most of the people in Trail were probably more familiar with seeing that band marching down the street American-style in the Silver City Days parades," he said.

"I would really like to see some video of that, especially if it covers the fancy corners that we did."

White has video of high school band performances but little of the band taking part in the local Silver City Days. (Trail Silver City Days/ Facebook)

White describes "fancy corners" as the intricate choreography students learned for walking in parades "so that nobody ever ran into anybody."

He admits he's unsure if many people took video of the performances as he was always too busy to notice.

"During the parade, I was running along beside the band watching out for students who might drop their mouthpiece. I really couldn't pay much attention to the audience."

At least one person has already reached out with footage, but White would like to see more even though he expects it will make him emotional.

"Tears, definitely more tears," said White.

Anyone with home videos of the band is encouraged to call 250-367-6115 or email carlo_bianco@telus.net.

To hear an interview with Clark White, see the link below:

A retired band teacher from Trail, B.C., is looking for footage of past concerts and parade performances to be featured in local museum. 8:12

With files from CBC's Daybreak South

About the Author

Jaimie Kehler

Jaimie Kehler is a web writer, producer and broadcaster based in Kelowna, B.C. She has also worked for CBC News in Toronto and Ottawa. To contact her with a story, email jaimie.kehler@cbc.ca.