The Phantom Regiment Phamily was saddened to learn of the passing last week of Marian Armato Newcomer, a Phantom Regiment Hall of Fame member and our corps’ first brass arranger.
A classically trained pianist, Marian was not just the first person to arrange brass music specifically for Phantom Regiment – she was also the mother of our classical music identity. Before Marian’s pioneering work, our corps borrowed brass music from VFW 342 or the Kewanee Black Knights. Between 1959-1961, Marian used her musical know-how and love of classical compositions to arrange numerous pieces for us, including Chopin’s Polonaise, Puccini’s Un Bel Di (One Fine Day), and our namesake composition by Leroy Anderson, The Phantom Regiment March. Marian paved the way for future Phantom Regiment arrangers including Jim Wren, who remembered her by saying, “Any success that I might have had in later years is due in no small way to Marian’s early influence.” Marian and her husband Roger eventually moved to Colorado, where they were active with the Blue Knights.
“Aunt Marian,” thank you for everything you did to help grow two young drum corps into the organizations they are today. Our thoughts are with your family and friends, and we miss you.