Connor White likes to keep his calendar full.
The John Barsby Secondary School graduate is a musician, an actor and a singer. Last school year, he was also on three sports teams, achieved top grades in math and science and worked part-time.
White wants to be an engineer, but high school gave him the opportunity to explore his fine arts side.
He played baritone sax in three bands in his Grade 12 year: a jazz combo that won a gold medal in the West Coast Jazz Festival at Vancouver Island University; a tour band that performed in West Edmonton Mall; and a jazz band that performed at the Port Theatre.
“It’s the rush of being up there and having people enjoying what you’re doing,” he said. “When I’m playing, I don’t worry about stuff. It’s a good stress reliever.”
White sang at a jazz festival at the Port Theatre and in the school’s glee club this year. In previous years, he combined his singing talents with acting in musical theatre, landing a lead position in Once Upon a Mattress in his Grade 10 year.
Despite a heavy band schedule, he found the time last year to be on his school’s swim and wrestling teams and played badminton competitively with a community team, placing well in local and provincial tournaments.
“People mistake [badminton] for that easy sport you play in gym class,” said White. “It’s a lot harder than people give it credit for.”
On the academic side, he helped edit the school newspaper and achieved the school’s top mark in Physics 12 and Math 12 in his Grade 11 year.
“I love math and a lot of science is math,” said White. “I love puzzles, solving problems, getting the right answer. It’s not abstract – there’s a right or wrong answer.”
He was accepted into the University of B.C.’s engineering program, but plans to stay at home and attend Vancouver Island University for his first year to save some money.
“I like the idea of going into research, being on the cutting edge and learning new things,” said White. “I want to work on clean energy – the state of our environment is a big issue.”
To prepare himself for UBC’s engineering program, White has a heavy course load starting in September.
Bob Orr, owner of Freeze Frame Photography, has employed White for about two years to handle printing requests on site at sports tournaments and other events.
“Connor is one of those kids who’s never down – he always upbeat,” he said. “Often he’ll bring something to the table that you wished you had thought of.”