Learn how a Potsdam education can lead to making music for Presidents


Thomas Palmatier
SUNY Potsdam alumnus Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier, Class of 1975, commander and conductor of the acclaimed United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C., will present.

SUNY Potsdam alumnus Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier, Class of 1975, commander and conductor of the acclaimed United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C., will present a lecture for the public on Monday, March 9, at 11 a.m. in the Wakefield Recital Hall located in the Crane Complex.

Palmatier will present “From Potsdam to the White House:  How a Potsdam education led to performances for Presidents and concerts spanning the globe.”

Since graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a Bachelor of Music degree in applied music, Palmatier has traveled the world making music with the Field Band, keeping the will of the American people behind the members of the armed forces and supporting diplomatic efforts around the world.

He previously served as commandant of the U.S. Army School of Music, where he was responsible for the training of Army Band Soldiers, Noncommissioned Officers, Warrant Officers, and Commissioned Officers for the Army’s 106 bands worldwide.

His other assignments included executive officer to the Adjutant General of the Army and the Department of the Army Staff Bands Officer, overseeing band activities for all Active, Reserve and National Guard bands. Earlier assignments included command and staff positions in Army bands around the world. Additionally, he supervised musical support for the 1989, 1993 and 2001 Presidential Inaugural celebrations.

Palmatier is former director of the Rochester International Tattoo and former principal director of music for the Virginia International Tattoo. He was also music director of the Dominion Brass Band, which won the Honors Section of the North American championships in 1996.

Palmatier has received numerous military honors to include two awards of the Legion of Merit and seven awards of the Meritorious Service Medal. He was the first Army Band Officer to earn both the Parachutist and Air Assault Badges. He also earned a combat patch for service in El Salvador.

His professional affiliations include the North American Brass Band Association, of which he is past-president and an honorary lifetime member, and the National Band Association.

In addition to his Potsdam education, Palmatier holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in music from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. His military education includes attendance at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, where he received the Smythe Award as the top student of military history.

He completed his studies at the Army War College in July 2006, when he received a Master of Strategic Studies degree. A member of the Army War College Association, he also belongs to the Adjutant General Corps Regimental Association.

In addition to Palmatier’s lecture, The United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C., will continue its long history of presenting free public performances on March 9, at 7:30 p.m. in SUNY Potsdam’s Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.

Along with the Soldiers’ Chorus, which was founded in 1957, this 65-member concert band presents a powerful and diverse program of marches, overtures, popular music, patriotic selections and instrumental and vocal solos.

Tickets for the performance are free and may be obtained by calling the CPS Box Office at (315) 267-2277 while supplies last. Ticket holders are asked to be seated by 7:15 p.m., as unclaimed tickets will be released to non-ticket holders at 7:20 p.m.

The concert is sponsored by The Watertown Daily Times.