We, the members of the Oklahoma Community Orchestra are profoundly saddened by the passing of our Orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor, Dr. Irvin Wagner. Doc was a titan, with an impossible legacy to follow and experiences that took him around the world performing music. He presented music with groups around the world as a conductor and trombonist, and regularly brought out the spoons as a means of showcasing unique ways of making music. He was a prolific trombonist, a composer, arranger, and conductor with a lifetime of experiences enriching the lives of everyone he knew. Irv believed that music was but one of many ways, possibly the best way, to bring people together. Doc directed the OCO in rehearsal right up until the end.
Doc was the very definition of what a musician should strive to be. OCO meant a lot to Irv. He often talked about how many members of the orchestra have become like family to him and to each other. An orchestra is like a second family to us. We didn’t just lose a music director, we lost a friend, a colleague, a mentor, and a member of our musical family.
Irv isn’t truly gone, though. His vast numbers of students, colleagues, and those with his musical imprint will continue on in his spirit of fine musicianship, professional tenacity, and enough charisma to win the world over. This orchestra, his legacy, will continue to grow in his absence and bring music to the masses. We need to take a moment, right ourselves, and remember: The show must go on. Now as Doc would say, “Let’s Make Some Music!”
Our season will continue as planned. We look forward to celebrating his amazing life in the near future.
Sincerely, all of us at the OCO.