Retired Colonel of Army Band visits Frenship Middle School students

Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:57 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - This week, Frenship ISD’s Heritage Middle School hosted a special guest who helped teach the band students. Retired Army Band Director, Colonel Thomas Palmatier.

after serving for nearly four decades, Palmatier has an impressive record in the Army.

“I was in the army for nearly 37 years and that spanned all around the globe,” said Palmatier. “It took me to 56 countries, all 50 states. I culminated my career as the senior music director of the Armed Forces and as leader and commander of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.’”

MORE: History of the U.S. Army Band

This is the colonel’s second visit to the Hub City.

“The first time was just a chance he happened to be coming through town, and we grabbed him up,” said Head Director of Heritage Middle School Band, David Biel.

Biel said colonel Palmatier’s visit is a huge honor for the students.

“This is kind of the equivalent of getting the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs to come out and visit our kids,” said Biel, “he’s really that big of a deal.”

Colonel Palmatier has had an array of different students, said he’s blessed to be able to teach music all ages, all the way from five to 85 year olds.

“I’ve had the great joy of instead of teaching the world-class, best performers in the world, teaching kindergarteners and their very, very first exposure to music and it’s been fantastic, too,” said Palmatier.

Not only is Colonel Palmatier teaching the students, but he’s also learning from them as well.

“I would have to say, it’s kind of rekindled the joy in me too because we become very focused on fixing errors, trying to—'oh, that’s out of tune. Let’s fix that. That’s the wrong note,’” said Palmatier, “but with a kindergartener, they just want to play a drum and dance and smile and enjoy it.”

Colonel Palmatier says his next project…. He will be leading the Alabama All-State band, a 250-piece band, in a live performance.

You can find more information on Palmatier’s website, click here.

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