I would like to nominate James "Red" McLeod. He was born in Virginia, MN in 1913, graduated from Roosevelt High School in Virginia and the University of Minnesota. He played the clarinet and violin and started arranging and composing music immediately after graduation. He composed music for the Golden Strings (Radisson Hotel Flame Room), Minnesota Orchestra, University of Minnesota Bands, Whoopee John, and the Minnesota Vikings Band. He has written numerous orchestra, band, and choral works along with instruction books for string instruments. He also directed and played in the house band at Murray's Restaurant in Minneapolis for many years. He was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in New Ulm several years ago. One of his compositions is a Dixieland Mass - Latin Mass parts with Dixieland band accompaniment - and the Holy Spirit Church Choir in Virginia, which I direct, has performed it several times in the past 20 years.
~Bob and Barbara Baldrica, Virginia, MN
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