The Lon T. Palmer Music Education Fund was founded in 2008
to offer financial aid and assistance to public school music programs.
The fund's namesake was a life-long
teacher who saw music as a integral part of a well-rounded education. He
believed that music was a powerful engine for tolerance and a fundamental
language with unifying qualities.
A "Teaching Moment"
When 1st Lieutenant Lon T. Palmer, commander of the 504th Air Force
Band, was honorably discharged from the Service, he returned to New York
and took a job teaching in the New York City Public School system. His
first assignment was teaching middle-schoolers in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Not a dream job by any means. Bed-Stuy
in the late 50's was a very dangerous place. Kids were always
getting into fights -- it was an era of "hoods" and gangs. No
amount of discipline seemed to work.
Mr. Palmer saw this as a unique
opportunity. He went out and bought a bunch of drum sticks, gave them to
the kids and created a weekly drumline contest. The group with the
best riffs would get to accompany a color guard to begin each weekly
assembly. Pretty soon, walking down the halls, all you saw were
pockets of kids using their text books as practice pads working out what
they hoped would be the winning routine. Later in his life, whenever he
heard that public school music budgets were being cut, he would say that
bureaucrats simply didn’t understand the power of music.
To honor his legacy and to carry on his
mission, The Lon T. Palmer Music Education Fund works in cooperation with
public school music programs and offer financial assistance for special
programming that promotes inclusive, participatory music education.
Contributions may be made to:
The Lon T. Palmer Music Education Fund
c/o Central New York Community Foundation
431 East Fayette Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13202
Attn: Jennifer Owens
For more information please email
email@example.com or call 631-300-1710