Irv Wagner, trombone
If a person ever had the goal of sharing himself and his music with the world, Irvin Wagner has accomplished about as much as is possible. From conducting major orchestras to directing young musicians in schools, from playing the trombone at the highest artist level to communicating with people in a nursing home, from serving as President of the International Trombone Association to playing the spoons for children, from performing for the Pope and Presidents to giving concerts in hospitals this man has given joy to literally millions around the globe.
Born on snowy Valentine’s Day in a rural farmhouse on the Kansas prairie, he started his musical life journey by joining his parents in family singing. His father, Orval, recalls standing him on a chair at the age of 5 in order for the audience to see him when the family sang various programs. From those experiences music became a part of the passion he has shared with audiences the world over whether it is playing jazz, playing classical music, conducting, doing research on old music, writing music, or teaching.
The Republic Of China, the International Trombone Association, the State of Oklahoma, and others have given him many awards for such as his performances for the Pope in Rome, for four Presidents of the United States, and for his television and radio appearances to more than a quarter of the population of the world.
Irv, as he is affectionately called, has played the trombone everywhere from New York and Moscow to Kazakhstan and China, has conducted orchestras from Venice to Australia, has provided written music from transcribed manuscripts of old trombone music to arrangements of “pop” tunes for symphony orchestra, and has shown that music is to be shared and enjoyed from young to old and from rich to poor.