Chickasaw trombonist performs with Chicago Symphony Orchestra
CHICAGO – When 12-year-old Chickasaw Steven Warren first picked up a trombone, he had little idea how music would shape his life.
Now a 23-year-old graduate student at Northwestern University, the Oklahoma State University alumnus is working hard to make his dreams come true.
Playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for nine days last spring and again during Thanksgiving were major highlights in his life.
One of his teachers at Northwestern invited him to participate, according to a news release.
“Chicago Symphony has always been the ensemble I have looked up to and being asked by my teacher to play in the ensemble was a dream come true,” said Warren, who is Chickasaw, in the release. “It was amazing.”
The request was rare, considering only one or two Northwestern students each year are asked to perform with the symphony.
“I went to the symphony to pick up my music and they thought I was there to pick up music for the Youth Orchestra,” he chuckled.
He performed two different programs with the symphony; a pops concert at the “Keys to the City” Festival and a traditional program.
To prepare, he poured his concentration and focus into the music.
“I listened to that music constantly,” he said in the release. “There was no way I was going to make a mistake in that first rehearsal.”
During that first surreal rehearsal, he performed with his heroes.
“I’ve looked up to everyone in that orchestra since I started playing, and to be able to make music with them was an incredible opportunity,” he said in the release. “They were all super nice, too. Some of the nicest people I have ever met.”
After three rehearsals, it was time for the concerts.
Nerves set in.
“Usually I don’t get nervous for orchestra performances,” he said in the release. “I am in the back the orchestra and play my part, but the first rehearsal and first concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I was so nervous, and my heart was pounding. You just can’t make a mistake.”
Warren’s summer performances ended, but he is still setting and working toward goals.
His ultimate dream is to work with his role model, Mark Lawrence, a trombonist with the San Francisco Symphony.
“Once I heard him play, I said ‘I want to sound like him.,” Warren said in the release.
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