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B i o g r a p h y


John Winkelman, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, has studied composition with John Zdechlik, conducting with Robert Hallquist and music performance on tuba with Ross Tolbert of the Minnesota Orchestra.
​His first   composition, Alaskan Rhapsody, was composed at the age of 17 and was performed by his high school band.  Several smaller compositions followed for his fellow classmates and were performed at various recitals and concerts.  After pursuing a career in sales and marketing John resumed composing as a creative outlet. Several of his original compositions and arrangements are published Through MyScore at J.W. Pepper.  John has an extensive performance background and has played tuba with the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra, Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra, Stingaree Stompers, Pomerado Brass Quintet, Coronado Community Band, as well as singing with a German Choir.  John’s initial conducting experience began in St. Paul as musical director for Glass Theater in the 1970s.  He also served as assistant director with Chimera Theater at the St. Paul Arts and Science Center in the 80s.  In San Diego John directed San Diego’s Finest City Freedom Band from 1991 to 1992 and the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble from 1993 to 2000, and again from 2003 to 2019.  John has been hired for several commissioned works and recently has won a McKnight Foundation Award/Grant for his winning  composition “Mr. Toad’s Adventurous Ride” for the Minnesota Sinfonia 2019 composition contest.

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