Mark Gregory Schweizer

Published 11:43 pm Monday, November 11, 2019

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Mark Gregory Schweizer, 63, of Tryon, North Carolina, passed away at his home on November 9, 2019. 


He was born June 12, 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland to Mark and Karole Schweizer. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Stetson University, where he studied voice under Bob and Mollie Rich, and both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona.

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Dr. Schweizer was an accomplished opera singer. As a bass-baritone, he performed with regional opera companies across the country, in solo recital, and in oratorio including appearing as the bass soloist with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He enjoyed acting in regional theatre, and Tryon residents may remember him as Tevye in 2014’s Fiddler on the Roof.


He was a prolific composer, a college professor, a church choir director, the author of 16 mystery novels, and a choral music publisher, founding St. James Music Press in 1992 and giving many composers their first opportunity to share their work. He founded the Red River Opera Company in central Louisiana, and he owned six chainsaws. Some of his favorite pastimes were traveling, playing tennis and pickelball, and spending time with his family at the mountain cabin he built.


He was preceded in death by his father Mark Schweizer. Surviving are his wife Donis Cockrell Schweizer; two children: Chris Schweizer (Liz) of Madisonville, KY; and Lindy Schweizer Buss of Tryon, NC; two granddaughters: Addie Buss and Penny Schweizer; his mother Karole Schweizer of Altamonte Springs, FL; seven siblings: Kristen Linduff of Altamonte Springs, FL; Peter Schweizer (Kathy) of Cleveland, TN; Jeffrey Schweizer (Kari) of Longwood, FL; Alex Schweizer (Patty) of Casselberry, FL; Matthew Schweizer (Jennifer) of Angiers, NC; Samantha Bell (David) of Tryon, NC; Stephanie Nelson (Randy) of Niota, TN; sister-in-law Pam White (Barry) of Cary, NC; sister-in-law Jan Mitchell of Monroe, NC; and an abundance of nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 17, at 3:00pm at Tryon Presbyterian Church.


Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills or to First Baptist Church of Tryon, NC.


Submitted by 

Lindy Buss