Congratulations to Jesse Wiemer-Hastings of DeKalb High School, recipient of the 2020 Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship award. Historically the scholarship recipient is honored at the first DeKalb Municipal Band concert of the year at Hopkins Park (DeKalb), with the $3,500 scholarship award from the DeKalb County Community Foundation. This year, due to COVID-19 precautions and social distancing restrictions, the June concert will not take place.
Jesse plans to attend St. Olaf College in the fall of 2020, pursuing a degree in music education. Jesse shared, “The main inspiration for my musical journey has been my many fabulous music teachers, from my private cello and tuba teachers, to my band and choir directors. Their guidance has greatly shaped me as a musician and as a person. They helped me realize my love for music. I want to become a music educator in order to do for other students what my amazing teachers have done for me.”
“This award is very well deserved,” said donor Gary Palmer. “We wish Jesse the best as he pursues his dreams in music education. We know that he will go far!”
Jesse’s interest in music started with his parents, both of whom are musicians. He grew up in a home of music and frequently went to concerts. His fascination for string bass came from his attendance at orchestra concerts. He was inspired and intended to work his way up to that level. At the age of seven his mom started him with cello lessons. Since then, Jesse has been very active in the music department at his school. He played the tuba in the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band, and Symphony Orchestra. He played trombone in the Jazz Ensemble and played the bass pans in Steel Band. For choir he participated in the Varsity Choir, Madrigal Singers, Enharmonic Fusion a cappella, and the Musical Pit Orchestra. Outside of school he sings in the church choir and occasionally plays special music on tuba, trombone, or euphonium. Additionally, he has played tuba in the NIU CSA Sinfonia for three years, and played trombone in NIU’s summer Jazz Camp for three years.
“It’s evident that music is Jesse’s passion,” said Tiffany McQueen Lewis, Community Foundation Grants Director. “We look forward to seeing the impact he will have on the lives of his future students as he achieves his goal of becoming a music educator. Congratulations Jesse!”
Scholarship funds are an easy way to support and promote further education of youth in our community. Contribute to any Fund at the Community Foundation including the Palmer Family Music Education Fund online or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, IL 60178.
Dee Palmer, director of the DeKalb Municipal Band since 1948, passed away in November 2011 at the age of 97. Palmer and his family have contributed to the musical pleasure of thousands of people in DeKalb County for over 160 years. In 2009, the Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship was set up at the Community Foundation to honor this local music legacy.
Pictured: Jesse Wiemer-Hastings is the 2020 recipient of the Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship.