A special award of

The John Philip Sousa
Foundation

John Palmer

Palmer earned his Bachelor’s of Music Education from Furman University. He added a Master’s of Music education from Louisiana State and topped that with an education Specialist degree from the University of Georgia.

Palmer was elected to Phi Beta Mu in 2008. He has earned 6 Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association and he has been the guest conductor for the University of Georgia’s Mid-Fest not once, but four times.HIs ensembles have also been invited to perform at the National Concert Band Festival, the Georgia Music Educator’s Convention, and the Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival.

 

 The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 to honor, over the course of a year, eight of the finest band directors in our business.

Recipients have taught for at least fifteen years, have maintained a very high-quality concert band program, and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music.

Each is honored at the annual Sousa Foundation awards ceremony during the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.

Chairman of the Legion of Honor Committee is Terry Austin, Virginia Commonwealth University.

John Palmer has been the Director of Bands at Walton HIgh School since 2018, having served as Associate Director there for 2 years. This appears to be his “modus operandi”, having done it the same way at South Effingham Middle School and at Dickerson Middle School before moving to Walton.

Palmer earned his Bachelor’s of Music Education from Furman University. He added a Master’s of Music education from Louisiana State and topped that with an education Specialist degree from the University of Georgia.

Palmer was elected to Phi Beta Mu in 2008. He has earned 6 Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association and he has been the guest conductor for the University of Georgia’s Mid-Fest not once, but four times.HIs ensembles have also been invited to perform at the National Concert Band Festival, the Georgia Music Educator’s Convention, and the Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival.

He frequently gives back to his profession by serving in various capacities. These include: GMEA District 12 Band Chair (2010-2014); Georgia Standards of Excellence Redesign Committee (2017); the Cobb County Band COVID Research and Design Committee (2020), and the GMEA Marching Band COVID GUideline Committee (2020).

Under his tutelage the Walton HIgh School Marching Band has reached the BOA Regional Finals in 2016, 2017, 2019. They also were BOA Grand National Semi-Finalists in 2017.

He has an interesting outlook on some of the things that shaped his career starting in high school as he says, “​My sophomore year in high school I moved from an outstanding band program to a very challenged band program. I loved band in my previous school – it had given me a home and a sense of belonging. I was not the most talented player, but when I saw what my new band classmates were not getting from their program, I began working harder and trying to bring success and community to my new band. Since then, I have wanted to create a classroom where students are supported, accepted, and given the tools to grow to their potential.” He also points to Furman Director, Dr. Les Hicken, for helping to teach how to empower students. Striving for excellence was ingrained in him by the examples of LSU’s Frank Wickes and Linda Moorhouse.

Today he sums up his philosophy by saying, “My goal is to give my students a once-in-a-lifetime experience every single year, be it through performance, travel, or other experiences. The feeling of working together to create an amazing musical moment is fleeting, yet it will remain forever within any musician who has this experience. Musical skills and knowledge is my vehicle for teaching students about resilience, community, teamwork, responsibility, creativity, dependability, and ingenuity. I want my students to be musically literate when they graduate and have a love for music that last a lifetime, but I also want the lessons from my classes to remain with every student regardless of the career path they may choose.”

 

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A special award of