"I'm a repertory player, an idiosyncratic esotericist," says alto saxophonist Andrew White, performing in the second annual benefit concert for the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program tonight.

White believes his musical ideas and his instrument warrant continual expression. "My idea is to give a cross section of the saxophone persona as I see it and a cross section of what I'm about as a saxophone player," he says.

With his latest composition, "Andrew With Strings," a seven-piece series composed for solo saxophone and strings with works by Bach and Handel, including a number of jazz transcriptions, White discovers the means by which he elicits his most creative challenges. "The instrument has tremendous potential for a very versatile, wide magnitude of expression," White adds. "I think of it as an extension of the voice. I can sing on the instrument."

The concert, cosponsored by the Howard University Department of Music, also features blues guitarist Bill Harris with a salute to Duke Ellington and the orchestra playing Be'la Barto'k's "Peasant Suite," and Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C Major.

The performance begins tonight at 6 in Howard University's Crampton Auditorium. For more information call 723-1612.