The UTC Symphonic Band will be performing a concert dedicated to Stanton Palmer for his establishment of a music scholarship. The concert will be held Monday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Auditorium and it will feature music for the trumpet section. Selections programmed are “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite,” “Procession of the Nobles,” “Shenandoah,” “Bugler’s Holiday,” “Lady of Spain,” “Variations on a Korean Folk Song,” “Down a Country Lane” and “Bacchanal.”
The Stanton Palmer Scholarship was founded in recognition of Stanton Palmer’s 50-year career in Chattanooga music circles and to celebrate the fourth generation of the Palmer family’s involvement with The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Stanton Palmer’s father, Dr. Paul L. Palmer, was a dean at the University of Chattanooga, a professor of education from 1925-1960, and retired as a Guerry Professor Emeritus.
Stanton Palmer, daughter Susan Palmer Pierce and grandson Evan Palmer Pierce are all alumni of the University.
Stanton Palmer was born in 1920 in Evanston, Ill. His family moved to Chattanooga when his father was hired by UC.
Palmer began playing alto horn in seventh-grade and was chosen for East Tennessee State Orchestra in Knoxville the following year. He was a 12-year-old playing in an honor band of primarily high school students. He switched to trumpet in ninth grade.
He played his first New Year’s Eve gig in 1934 at age 14 with an adult band led by Marshal Jones. While a junior at Chattanooga High School, he played regularly with Leland Brown’s 11-piece dance band. Also as a junior, he began playing with the UC Band, which was then led by the legendary Col. Ira Summers.
He entered UC in 1937 on a band scholarship and partial scholarship as the child of a faculty member. In 1938, at age 17, he joined the Musicians Union, began playing with the Ellis Goodloe Orchestra (the most popular dance band in town at that time), played his first Cotton Ball and played for the Buster Crabbe Aquacade at Memorial Auditorium.
He began playing with the Chattanooga Symphony in 1938 and remained in the symphony until 1973.
He graduated from UC in 1941 with a B.S. degree in chemistry. From 1942-1946, Lt. Palmer served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific combat area.
In April 1946, Palmer went to work as a copy editor at the former News Free Press, where he was employed for 49 years. He retired from the NFP as news editor.
In 1954 he organized his own combo and played thousands of gigs over the next four decades. He also played with the Walt Meyer Combo, with Jimmy Wilson and numerous other Chattanooga musicians.
He was hired to play in bands that came to town for Holiday on Ice, the national road show of Hello Dolly starring Betty Grable and with the Metropolitan Opera stage band during its tour of Aida.
He played with Benny Goodman when he came to Chattanooga and he played for Dinah Shore, Connie Francis, Jim Nabors, The Four Lads, Red Skelton and Ray Price.
He was the first Chattanooga musician to play 50 consecutive New Years Eve gigs. He is a life member of the Chattanooga Musicians Union, and was named to “Who’s Who in America.”