Jamie Brinnen performs with celebrated Army Field Band

By Uncredited

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Gallatin High School junior Jamie Brinnen was the only musician from Gallatin in the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, which was recently in concert at the Ketcham Community Center in Trenton.

The show included a performance with Trenton High School students. Jamie said she was included in the ensemble after being nominated by Gallatin band director Gene Edwards, plus, it didn’t hurt to be a family friend to the band conductor, Colonel Thomas Palmatier.

Colonel Palmatier is married to the former Shirley Fuller. Shirley’s brother is Jim Fuller of Gallatin, who is married to Deanna (Jones). Jamie is the daughter of Marsha (Jones) and the late Randy Brinnen. Marsha and Deanna are cousins.

Jamie stayed over the summer with Tom and Shirley in Fort Mead, Maryland, on a family vacation. During that time, she was able to attend several concerts by the Army Band.

As the premier touring musical representative for the United States Army, the internationally-acclaimed organization travels thousands of miles each year presenting a variety of music to enthusiastic audiences throughout the nation and abroad.

"It was a really exciting experience," said Jamie. "All the people in the band were so nice. They made me feel welcomed and a part of the group."

Jamie, who plays the b-flat clarinet, said the field band was a tad bit hard to keep up with, especially because of the range of the instruments.

"It gave me an idea of what playing outside of high school would be like," she said. "And I hope to be able to do it again."

She also thought it was great that Colonel Palmatier recognized the area families who have relatives serving in the armed forces. Those would include Kenton Fuller, who got out of the army three weeks ago and is now in Lincoln, Neb. He is Jim Fuller’s son. Also, Jamie’s cousin Jesse Rongey, the son of LouAnn (Jones) Rongey, is presently serving in Iraq.

Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier was appointed Commander and Conductor of The U.S. Army Field Band of Washington, DC, in September 2007. He has received numerous military honors to include two awards of the Legion of Merit and seven awards of the Meritorious Service Medal. He was the first Army Band Officer to earn both the Parachutist and Air Assault Badges. He also earned a combat patch for service in El Salvador. He and Shirley have a daughter, Gabrielle, who teaches ballet in Los Angeles, California.

Shirley graduated from Gallatin High School in 1970 and attended Missouri Western State College at St. Joseph. She entered the military at age 25, and is now a retired major. She remains employed with the army as a civilian at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Shirley’s grandparents were Bessie and Raymond Fuller of Gallatin. Her father is Bill Fuller of Cameron. Her mother is the late Patricia Cantrell of Trenton.

She has a sister Debby of Neosho. Shane Fuller of Smithville is her half brother. Shane directs the Liberty High School Band and formerly directed the Gallatin and Winston school bands.

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