Oklahoma Community Orchestra

2013-2014 Guest Artists

Guest Artist Thomas Cunningham

Thomas Cunningham just finished performing the role of Boss in SIDESHOW at “PFAMily Arts” in Texas and Marley in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Lyric Theatre. You may also have just seen him peeking over a fence in a Richardson Homes commercial. He is about to begin principal shooting in the feature films ARMY OF FRANKENSTEIN'S and HIGHER MISSION and has just finished shooting GOD IS BAD AT BOWLING. He has performed the roles of The Phantom and Che in The Broadway National Tours of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AND EVITA; and most recently Father in Lyric OKC’s RAGTIME and Judge Turpin in Lyric OKC’s SWEENEY TODD. Since moving to Oklahoma in 2003, Tommy has made a few movies; HEAVEN’S RAIN, THE HUNT and SOUL’S MIDNIGHT, He has been in a few commercials; The OK Lottery’s Harley Guy, El Dorado Motors’ BAD CREDIT. He played El Gallo in City Rep’s THE FANTASTICKS, Scrooge and Fagin in the Sooner Theatre’s SCROOGE and OLIVER and Cassius in OKCTC’s JULIUS CAESAR.

Guest Artist Erica Thomas

Erica Thomas has been an integral part of the artistic community in Oklahoma for over 20 years. "Beautiful," "gorgeous," and "it's like butter" are all ways people have described her voice. Her interpretations of opera, spirituals and songs from musical theatre have captured hearts and imaginations all over the country. Ms. Thomas always brings to the community recitals that celebrate diverse musical tastes and styles. She can be relied upon to use her classical training to assist vocal students in development of their craft by providing guidance on how to improve stage presence,

musicianship and artistic expression. As former director of the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company, Erica worked to help develop young talent. She continues to bring a wealth of expertise and a love for the theatre to every venue she performs. She is a member of the Oklahoma Arts Council Performing Artists Roster.

Guest Conductor Irvin L. Wagner

Irvin Wagner is a positive, enthusiastic conductor who enjoys making good music in all styles. He is constantly trying to provide musical situations where the public and the members of the orchestra can come together to share a rewarding experience. He views music not as something to be observed as if in a museum but as something to be felt, experienced, enjoyed and shared. His constant goal is to have both the members of the orchestra and the audience feels stimulated and fulfilled. This concept of making music comes naturally for Maestro "Irv" because he grew up singing gospel and country music with his family, played classical solos on his trombone from a very early age, and started playing jazz while still in high school. These experiences lead him to be involved with audiences of every type, and he always strives to please the listeners and his fellow musicians in every situation. Is it any wonder that he now is recognized in the nation and the world for his contributions as an "ambassador of good will."

Dr. Wagner has conducted orchestras around the globe. For example, he has appeared as guest conductor of orchestras from Fort Collins, Colorado to Beijing, China. One of his most significant appearances was as conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia in a concert broadcast live over much of the South Pacific; and for several years he conducted the Polychoral Music Festival in Venice, Italy. Furthermore, he has conducted for famous entertainers such as the Smothers Brothers, Bob Hope, Charlie Pride, The Kingston Trio, The Platters, and Michael Martin Murphy. Recently, he conducted the premier performances of "Jack," a Broadway Musical based upon the life of John F. Kennedy. It is as a trombonists that Irv is probably best known around the world. He has served as the President of the International Trombone Association, and has traveled to various parts of the world on countless occasions giving concerts and seminars. He has performed in China, Japan, Australia, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and India. Through a television special about him in China coupled with a recital on All-India Radio, it has been estimated that he and his trombone have been heard by at least a quarter of the population of the entire world, over one billion listeners. This ranks him as the "most-heard" trombonist of the world. In addition he recently gave a concert in Rachmaninoff Hall at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music In Moscow and in Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1988 Dr. Wagner holds the titles of "David Ross Boyd Professor of Music" and "Regents Professor" which are both distinguished professorships at the University of Oklahoma. Irv obtained a Bachelors degree from McPherson College in Kansas and masters and Doctors degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He has been a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.

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