Congratulations to Karl Olsen of DeKalb High School, recipient of the 2021 Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship award. The award is made possible each year through a Fund established at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. In total, the Palmer Music Family Scholarship Fund has awarded $33,401 in music education scholarships over the last 13 years.
Between his passion for music and his joy in helping students, Karl is pursuing a career as a music teacher. He begins his freshman year at Northern Illinois University in the fall of 2021. “As a music educator, I hope to share my passion for music and impact lives,” he said. “I aim to become a teacher who strongly cares for his students and helps them to succeed. Additionally, throughout college and into my teaching career, I want to continue to grow as a musician. I want to be a life-long learner and teach what I learn to others.”
Karl’s interest in music began when he was young. He grew up in a musical family where most of his siblings played piano, violin, clarinet, and flute. Because of this, he joined the band in middle school as a percussionist and continued on this path into high school, where he sought various opportunities to learn and grow in his technique. He participated in the DeKalb High School Marching Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Lab, Jazz Ensemble, and Tri-M honors group. He also auditioned for and made it into both the ILMEA Regional Band and ILMEA Regional Jazz Band. Outside of school, he volunteers as a drummer for his church’s worship team.
“It’s pure joy to see this love for music and education in young adults,” said Tiffany McQueen Lewis, Community Foundation Grants Director. “We look forward to seeing the impact Karl will have on the lives of his future students as he achieves his goal of becoming a music educator.”
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.Learn more about Scholarship Funds >
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. For questions or additional information on scholarships, please contact 815-748-5383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Donate to the Palmer Family Music Education Fund >