Palmer Hartley has always loved music. When he was young, he would play around with different instruments, but when he was in the third grade he took up playing the trumpet, and it just stuck.
Now the Dawson County High School sophomore has earned a seat on the All-State Band for his trumpet skills, an achievement that has not been done before in the history of the school, according to band officials.
The audition process began when several students from Dawson County tried out for the District 9 Band. Hartley and one other student were selected to play in the district band and given the opportunity to perform along with the other top musicians in the district.
Following the district performance, the highest-scoring students were given the chance to try out for the All-State band. During the audition, Hartley scored high enough to earn himself a spot in the band along and was given the opportunity to travel to Athens and perform with the All-State band in early March.
Hartley’s mother Diane said that knowing no student had ever been admitted into the All-State Band helped motivate the young musician even more.
“Palmer had the drive to make All-State, but I think that when his band director indicated that he wanted to see some students achieve All-State, a feat that had not been accomplished at DCHS, he had an extra incentive,” Diane Hartley said. “God gives us all talents; Palmer is just fortunate that he found one of his at a young age.”
Palmer Hartley accredits his success to being taught both at school and privately and to a lot of practice.
“It’s all about knowing how to practice properly,” Hartley said. “And my teachers have helped me learn.”
Livingstone said that she and the rest of the school are proud of Palmer and his accomplishments.
“We’re incredibly proud of Palmer,” Livingstone said. “He’s very driven and responsible, and he’s just one of those kids that everyone likes.”
According to Hartley, his goals moving forward are to continue working at his trumpet playing to become even better at the instrument.
“I hope to make it to the top chair,” he said. “So I’m just going to keep practicing and be the best that I can be.”