The Norman Transcript


February 6, 2013

Young trombonist hits high note



Downey will leave Thursday to attend the program. A portion of his time will be spent rehearsing for Sunday’s performance. He also will have the opportunity to be heard by collegiate music programs and participate in a music seminar featuring an industry professional.

Students also will experience New York City by attending a Broadway show and a nationally televised morning show.

Getting to Carnegie Hall didn’t happen overnight. Downey picked up the trombone in elementary school seven years ago. He now participates in his high school’s band, orchestra and jazz band, as well as conducting a school ensemble. On top of that, Downey receives private lessons from two instructors, Irv Wagner, University of Oklahoma music professor, and former Norman Public School band teacher Arthur Lantagne.

Downey has been receiving instruction from Wagner for four or five years. Wagner said Downey not only has the fundamental skills down, but he is also a passionate, self-motivated musician.

“He’s got the kind of ability and mentality he could be a professional trombonist and make a mark in the music world because he’s that good,” Wagner said. “Sometimes to make it in the business, there has to be that determination and burning desire to take advantage of your opportunities and create your opportunities. Dillon’s got all that going as good as anyone else I’ve ever come across.”

Though Downey doesn’t know the college he’ll be attending yet, he’s sure that music will continue to be a life-long love affair.

“Beethoven had a quote that, ‘To play the wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.’ I just think that’s really true in general. Music can impact so many people. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in the world or who you’re dealing with, but it’s really incredible for me to see that music can have such a heavy impact on people.”

For more information on the American High School Honors Performance Series Orchestra, visit

Hannah Cruz


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