Red Wing native plays at inaugurationLast Monday, millions of Americans watched their televisions as President Barack Obama took the oath of office and officially began his second term in the White House.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Last Monday, millions of Americans watched their televisions as President Barack Obama took the oath of office and officially began his second term in the White House.
A couple in Red Wing watched their TV screen last week. But, in addition to seeing the president, they were hoping for a glimpse of another man: their son.
Edward Winkels said he and his wife, Lorraine, watched as their son, U.S. Army Capt. Richard Winkels, attended the presidential inaugural parade as an officer-in-charge of the U.S. Army Concert Band “Perishing’s Own.”
The camera showed the younger Winkels a few times, Edward said.
“It’s just a great experience,” he said, adding that the ceremony in itself was “interesting.”
An associate conductor, Richard didn’t get to conduct the band on inauguration day. But he did get to conduct at one of the inaugural balls they had Tuesday evening, Edward said.
“He said it was a good time,” Edward added.
Richard has been enlisted in the Army for 12 years, his father said. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and a master’s degree in music from the University of Nebraska.
Richard began his music career with the Army in 2002 playing the euphonium — a tuba-like instrument. He played with the First Corps Army Band in Fort Lewis, Wash., and the United States Army Japan Band before he was selected to be an Army band officer in September 2007.
Since then, his duties haven’t involved the euphonium, Edward said.
“Officers don’t play in bands,” he said. “They conduct and do some administrative things.”
Even though Richard has been at the White House and U.S. Capitol numerous times before and has conducted at places like Arlington National Cemetery, Edward said participating in the inauguration celebration was special for Richard.
“He’s impressed with it,” Edward said.
The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” was founded in 1922 by Army Chief of Staff Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing. Its mission is to provide music for official ceremonies and special events throughout the National Capital Region. The 99-member band comprises members of the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Army Concert Band and the U.S. Army Blues.