From 'Reveille' to 'Taps' and everything in between, Walter White is always prepared

Jul 3, 2020

Trumpeter Walter White was a little disappointed when the television show "Breaking Bad" starting becoming popular. 

White says that he used to be at the top of the Google searches for his name, or in second place after the longtime NAACP leader Walter Francis White.

But when Vince Gilligan's show and its lead character became household names, trumpeter Walter White found himself buried in the Google search results beneath Gilligan's teacher-cum-drug kingpin. 

Later, White says he heard Gilligan say in an interview that he named his fictional characters after people he had known in real life.

Since the two overlapped at Interlochen Arts Academy in the early 1980s, White can't help but wonder if Gilligan borrowed his name for the iconic character. 

It's okay if Gilligan borrowed his name, though. In exchange, "I just want to write music for his next series," White says.

It would be just one more accomplishment in a long, distinguished career for White. After he attended camp and Academy at Interlochen, he went to Juilliard.

As a camper at Interlochen, White was often responsible for playing multiple bugle calls a day, "from 'Reveille' to 'Taps' and everything between," he says. 

Walter White and Jose Luis Barajas at camp in 1978
Credit Walter White

Having connected with the jazz musician Bob James while at Interlochen, White found himself playing in sessions for the television show "Taxi" at James's invitation. James even paid White's first union dues for him so that he could participate.

White played not only for "Taxi" but also for "The Cosby Show," its spin-off "A Different World" and even the new "Looney Tunes." 

Now, he leads multiple ensembles, composes, produces, arranges and performs.

He also helped develop the iBugler app, which was released in 2009 and allows users to access his performances of many common bugle calls on demand. 

White has kept busy during the past few months, producing and putting the final touches on several new albums that were recorded before the pandemic hit. He shared sneak peeks from a couple of those forthcoming albums, including an original number called "Atlantic Bridge."

Jose Luis Barajas and Walter White revisiting Interlochen in 2018, 40 years after they first met as campers
Credit Walter White

Another track, "Interlochen Dream 1978," was composed by his friend Jose Luis Barajas.

Barajas and White first met at camp in 1978, lost touch and then reconnected decades later. The album they worked on together was recorded in 2018, exactly 40 years after they first met.

Listen to the entire conversation with Classical IPR, including excerpts from the forthcoming albums, below.