It was no great love, no special calling. Student Brady White began playing the trumpet as a child only because he could produce a sound when he blew into it. Now his résumé as a musician includes a stop with the prestigious Drum Corps International and a role in the Tony Award-winning show Blast!, which concluded its fourth season in December. White joined Blast! in May 2001, leaving UTA for four semesters to tour with the 54-person ensemble. He re-enrolled in August to finish his bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
UTA Magazine asked him 10 questions:
How do you describe Blast! for someone who’s never seen it?
It’s the best of the outdoor pageantry of marching band, color guard and winter guard, combined with the best of theater with lighting and effects and the intimacy of the indoor facility.
What was your role?
I played the high brass instruments—trumpet, cornet and mellophone. I also sang and played the didgeridoo and percussion.
How did you wind up in the cast?
I had marched drum corps with the Crossmen for six years during high school and my first few years at UTA. When Blast! formed, they took almost all drum corps people, and I knew half of that original cast, but I didn’t want to join right away. The longer it went on and the bigger it got, they basically asked me to do it. I tried out, and I made it.
What was the highlight of your time with the show?
I’d probably have to say traveling a lot. If you want a specific place, I’d say going to Japan. It was awesome. We were in Tokyo for four weeks and Osaka City for one week. That was right before school started this semester [fall 2003].
What’s the biggest drawback to this kind of life?
Spending time away from my family during the tours. My family lives in Fort Worth, and I would only come home for major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. We’d get a random week off sometimes.
How did you begin playing the trumpet?
It started in sixth-grade band. We’d try out and that basically meant, “What can you make a sound on?” I sounded OK on the trumpet, so let’s play that. With junior high and high school band, I was into that. But once I got into drum corps, that’s when I started working hard at it.
What do you get out of playing trumpet?
It’s good to entertain people. And it’s good knowing that it’s something that not a lot of people can do.
What type of music do you like to play?
Everything from classical to jazz. I’ve played so many orchestral excerpts and études from books.
How do you prepare yourself before a performance?
With Blast!, I always made sure that I got into a routine. I’d go into the theater, and we would stretch as a group. Then the brass would warm up before the show. But I always found time to be by myself and play my horn, just mainly making sure that I was focused.
Is this something you can make a career doing?
Playing trumpet? Definitely. Blast!? There are people who have been doing that for five years now. I’d like to go back, but it depends on where the organization is. With show business, it’s so finicky at times. There’s not always work. But the interest to go back is definitely there.
— Danny Woodward