The sounds of the trumpet that once rang out on campus can now only be heard in our headphones. Tony D’Agnese, a local musician who took personal time from work to play his trumpet on campus after Oct. 1, has vanished. Where did he go?
Moved by the tragedy of Oct. 1, D’Agnese, who currently works at Prints Charming, Screen Printing & Embroidery, asked his employer if he could take time off to play his trumpet at UCC. He wanted to bring serenity to the shattered campus spirit he saw. “They were very good about understanding why I wanted to play at UCC and gave me the time off,” D’Agnese said.
D’Agnese became a fixture on campus playing songs two or three times a week until early March, but his absence has been noted.
According to D’Agnese, he was playing on campus one day and was told that some people were being triggered by the songs he had been playing since Oct. 1; he was then asked to try to play something more uplifting.
Later, a decision was made in a group meeting that D’Agnese couldn’t play on campus anymore without an invitation. Packing up his trumpet, D’Agnese went on to put all of the songs that resonated from his trumpet onto one CD.
Available now, D’Agnese’s CD contains songs he played on campus titled “Songs for UCC.” The CD release party was held at While Away Books and Espresso May 14. The CD can be purchased online at Bandcamp.com (https://tonydagnese.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-ucc) for a price of $7. All of the profits from the CD are going to the UCC general scholarship fund. The CD is not available on campus at this time.
D’Agnese, once the owner of the Roseburg Bagel Tree was originally from Rockaway Beach, New York. D’Agnese moved to the Pacific Northwest after meeting his wife at a national championship event in Florida. At that time, she resided in Portland. After deciding to marry her, he packed up and moved to Oregon.
Playing trumpet isn’t D’Agnese’s only talent; he is also a badass fencer, and not the person who builds pens for your sheep. He engages in mock battles using a sabre. In 1986, D’Agnese beat Peter Westbrook, a former U.S. fencing champion and Olympic medalist during a sabre fencing match. Westbrook and D’Agnese were teammates for a brief time in New York with the Fencers Club. His other famous duel was with gold medalist Mariel Zagunis, from Beaverton. At the age of 14, Zagunis beat D’Agmese in a match.
D’Agnese has been teaching fencing for 22 years and currently teaches at the YMCA. He originally taught at UCC until the gymnasium floor was changed.
D’Agnese began playing in 5th grade with the bugle, “You had a choice from bugle, drum, or fife; I chose the bugle,” D’Agnese said. In high shchool he began to play the trumpet after hearing the beautiful pieces the school band played. D’Agnese says he didn’t practice a lot back then and wasn’t the best player in the Saint Camillus Band; however, these days D’Agnese can’t stop playing.
Sometimes, D’Agnese plays on the street in downtown Roseburg to promote street music. D’Agnese also plays at Memorial Day services where he usually plays “Taps” after warming up with “Amazing Grace.” At the UCC candlelight vigil, D’Agnese played “Taps,” the “Star Spangled Banner” along with “Amazing Grace.” At a memorial in Jacoby Hall, he performed “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”
When some students found out that D’Agnese’s songs would not be available for purchase at the campus bookstore, Alexander “Xander” Fitzhugh proposed to ASUCC that the CD be available for purchase at the ASUCC office.
Some students felt that that music was triggering for them and asked that it not be sold in the bookstore. “Because I found Tony’s playing very therapeutic, I thought that was a shame, but I understood where those students were coming from, so I authored a proposal that the CD be made available in the ASUCC headquarters,” stated Fitzhugh. However, since ASUCC has no facility for selling a product, the decision was made to direct students to https://tonydagnese.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-ucc where the CD can be purchased for a price of $7 as a way to support the UCC scholarship fund.