The Marlboro Record

David White: In support of unhurried excellence

If you visit the Marlboro campus during the summer, you are likely to see David White busily making arrangements on behalf of the Marlboro Music School and Festival, as he has been doing for 50 years. But his long association with the music school has also led to an interest in Marlboro College itself, and he has become an appreciative and generous supporter over the years. 

“My first contact with Marlboro Music goes back to when I was about 12, and we had a summer home in Marlborough, New Hampshire,” said David, who is administrative associate with the music school during the summers. “My parents would go off Sunday afternoons to hear Rudolf Serkin perform in Marlboro, Vermont. In 1958, I attended my first Marlboro Music concert in the dining hall—no Persons Auditorium back then—and I felt inspired for life.”

David’s father Robert White, a true music lover and psychology professor at Harvard, was invited to join the Marlboro Music School Board of Trustees in 1961. In 1964, while attending Boston Conservatory as a clarinet and music education major, David applied for a job and spent his first summer at Marlboro Music.

“I first became interested in Marlboro College that same year, as our staff ate lunch with college staff members such as Ramona Cutting, Howard Aplin, Harry Evans, and Dot DeCarolis, among many others. My father was invited to join their college board of trustees in 1974—Rudolf Serkin served on both boards as well. The smallness, positive simplicity, and friendliness showed the college to be a special place of learning.”

David was drawn to the informality and slow pace of the college, characteristics it has in common with the music school that shares its campus during the summer, it’s “caring and inspiring setting.” He is especially supportive of the performing arts at Marlboro College and the developing farm program. His support was instrumental in the recent completion of the college greenhouse, and this year he gave generously in support of student scholarships and campus sustainability. He would love to see a stronger affiliation with the Brattleboro Music Center, to expand on the college’s music offerings.

“I’m stirred by the community’s courage for new programs, such as the farm program—the setting is just perfect for that. As with many other new programs, the college remains in step with a quality—not easily put into words—inspired by the college founders, a way of eternally evolving to meet the needs of the community. In this unhurried manner, Marlboro is keeping pace with the competitive world of higher education today.”