2012 All-American Marching Band Member Announced with Fanfare at Chantilly, Virginia, Event

On October 28, shortly before taking the stage as the newest member of the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band (USAAAB), William Morgan Palmer was asked how much he sleep he gets.

“Not much,” the Chantilly (Virginia) High School drum major said with a laugh. An understatement, since he also plays tenor saxophone in different band ensembles. He also heads the school debate team, and was named Chantilly homecoming king shortly before the USAAAMB announcement.

Band director Drew Ross said Palmer “really is a leader in everything he does.” At a recent football game, Palmer noticed there wasn’t a lot of cheering for the Chantilly Chargers, the band director said.

Ross said through sheer enthusiasm Palmer got band members and other students cheering enthusiastically during the game.

“When I started thinking about a student I would encourage to apply for the All-American band, William was the first student I thought of, both for his musicianship and for his leadership skills.”

Director of Bands Drew Ross (center,) and Christopher Singleton, associate director of bands took the stage with Palmer.

The USAAAMB will perform the halftime show at the bowl, which will be played on Saturday, January 7, 2012, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The game is at 1 PM ET and will be broadcast on NBC. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is the official selection partner of the USAAAMB and partners with title sponsor, the U.S. Army, along with Drum Corps International and All-American Games for the annual event.

Arts students at the school attended the ceremony in the school auditorium. They responded with raucous applause when his selection was announced.

Students celebrate the USAAAMB announcement.

Palmer’s mother, Pearline Morgan Palmer, said her son has always been involved with a slew of activities, and has stayed in contact with many of his teachers over the past few years. His elementary school principal and kindergarten teacher were among those attending the ceremony.

Pearline Palmer and William Palmer

“I am excited to have the opportunity to practice and perform with other kids who love the same thing you do,” William Palmer said.

Major Fromm welcomes Palmer to the 2012 USAAAMB

During the ceremony, U.S. Army Major Fromm congratulated him on his music achievements, and said the USAAAMB selection acknowledged “his leadership skills and his ability to motivate others.”
Palmer accepted his USAAMB cap and jacket and said, “I want to thank God and my family for this honor. In particular my mom, who stayed up most of the night when I needed to submit my audition video and our computer wasn’t working.”

William Palmer speaks during the ceremony.

He also thanked fellow band members: “You guys are why I am here. This represents what we have done together as a team.”
Palmer is applying to colleges this fall, with the University of Virginia high on his list. He wants to stay involved in music, but is still considering what his college major might be.

Chantilly students gather in the school auditorium before the ceremony.

USAAAMB students throughout the United States are getting star treatment. Follow the tour’s progress on the USAAAMB Facebook page, and watch videos and read newspaper articles posted on the site.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the premier high school football game in the nation and features America’s top high school senior football players and 125 senior marching musicians.

USAAAMB Facebook Page
U.S. Army All-American Bowl
View the halftime performance on January 7, 2012
Photos by Becky Spray

Roz Fehr, November 10, 2011, © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)