The Norman Transcript

Columns

February 9, 2014

Wagner’s Trombone Choir set to kick off his 45th year at OU

NORMAN — You can’t say or write OU music professor Irv Wagner’s name without mentioning spoons and trombones. He’s a master of both but will only play the trombone in a special concert Wednesday night at 8 p.m. inside Catlett Music Center.

Wagner’s Trombone Choir will kick off Wagner’s 45th year at OU. He came to Norman from Baton Rouge where he taught briefly.

“This marks the beginning of my 45th year and the trombone choir. This is sort of a kick off for the year,” Wagner said.

He’s expecting some special guests for the hour-long event. OU President David Boren and former Gov. George Nigh will be there. Wagner played for Boren’s Norman announcement that he would run for governor in 1974. Wagner’s group played a special piece for Boren’s OU inauguration 20 years later in 1994.

For one of George Nigh’s inaugurations as governor, Wagner assembled 77 trombones (one from every county with maybe a few immigrants) and played “76 Trombones.”

The appeal of trombones has declined in recent years. They’re a tough instrument to carry on a bicycle or on the school bus.

“But we’re trying to do all we can in Oklahoma to bring it back,” he said.

———

Former state Rep. and state Sen. Cal Hobson will run for District 3 County Commissioner.

He told me he made the decision following a meeting of Lexington townsfolk this week.

They were upset over the state’s closure of the bridge over the Canadian River and the lack of action to get it repaired and reopened. “He wasn’t even there,” Hobson said of the current commissioner Rusty Sullivan.

That span connects Lexington and Purcell. The detours are killing businesses, splitting families and causing problems for schools and churches.

Hobson, 68, lives in Lexington. He’ll run as a Democrat and is a familiar name on the ballot. He served in the state House and state Senate, rising to the Pro-Tem seat.

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