Private funeral services held for Elmer “Red” Winzer, one of the first to introduce classical music to field shows.

Posted on September 15th, 2020

At the request of his family, private funeral services for Elmer ‘Red’ Winzer have been provided by Bell-Hennessy Funeral Home, Inc., 420 South Main St. in Williamstown, New Jersey.  He passed away Tuesday September 8 at age 80.  Those wishing to send flowers to the family or plant a tree in his memory should visit the Bell-Hennessy Tribute Store.  He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2005.

In a career that began playing baritone horn as a charter member of Reading Buccaneers in 1957, his activities spanned more than 40 years as a topnotch horn player, music arranger, brass instructor, drill designer and instructor.  Between 1957 and 1973, he played baritone horn with Reading Buccaneers and the United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps.  He began instructing and arranging for the Buccaneers’ horn line in 1972.

He was one of the first music arrangers to adapt classical music to field show routines.  His arrangement of Morton Gould’s “American Salute” (adapted from the Civil War era tune “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”) was a highlight of the field show when Blue Rock of Wilmington, Delaware won both the final Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championship and the U.S. Open in 1971.  Other notable arrangements include Verdi’s “Requiem,” Stravinski’s “Firebird Suite” and Shostakovich’s “Fifth Symphony.”

Between 1967 and the mid 1990s, he was either the music arranger, brass instructor or brass caption head for many top ranked corps on the eastern seaboard, including junior corps Blue Rock and Haddonfield Royaleers of New Jersey and several senior corps including Emmaus Sentinels, Reading Buccaneers, Baltimore Yankee Rebels, Archer-Epler Musketeers.  He was also brass caption head for Yankee Rebels Alumni and Reading Buccaneers Alumni.  He judged all music captions for the Mid Atlantic Association, Drum Corps Associates (DCA), Drum Corps International (DCI), and the National Judges Association.

A 1958 graduate of Emmaus High School, he held music degrees from West Chester University and was a Doctor of Music Arts candidate at Temple University.  He served as the supervisor of music for the Souderton Area School District and was the principal bassist with the Delaware County Symphony and Mainline Symphony Orchestra.

He is survived by beloved companion Kumiko Murashima, children Kristen Chocheli, Melanie Winzer, Brennan Winzer and two grandchildren.

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