DeKalb Music Boosters Name First Hall of Fame Inductee


Musician and Director Dee Palmer to be honored in April Ceremony

The DeKalb Music Boosters’ Hall of Fame committee today announced the induction of musician and community leader W. Dee Palmer (a posthumous honor) into the district’s new Music Hall of Fame. The Muse Award, established to “honor an outstanding music advocate that has made a significant impact in developing and fostering the growth of DeKalb School District music programs,” will be presented to Palmer’s family members
“Dee Palmer was a legend in this community, so it is fitting that he is our first Hall of Fame honoree. Not only was Dee a truly gifted musician and educator, but he was beloved for his charming and kind personality. He is a perfect representation of what our Muse Award stands for in the Hall of Fame,” said Jill McCormick, District Music Coordinator and vocal performer in the DeKalb Municipal Band.

Palmer, a professional musician and music teacher, graduated from DeKalb High School then from Northern Illinois University/Teachers College earning a B.M. in Music Education. He played professionally with legendary performers such as Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong.

He taught music in the DeKalb School District and directed the DeKalb High School band. Additionally, he owned Palmer Music House, a music supply store, and established the Palmer Family Music Education fund that provides a scholarship to a graduating senior in DeKalb County pursuing a degree in music education.

But area residents may best remember Palmer for his years with the DeKalb Municipal Band. In this role, he provided citizens with 63 years of music until his passing in 2011.
The ceremony will take place at the Hats, Horses, and Harmony fundraiser for DeKalb Music Boosters on Saturday, April 14 at the River Heights Golf Course.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The event will feature student performances, simulated horse races, derby themed hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and prizes. Tickets are $35.00 per person. For tickets to the event, please email the DeKalb Music Boosters at or contact Valerie Vance at 630-670-4830.

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