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News Release

Contact: Laura Vazquez, Department of Communication
(815) 753-7132

September 4, 2009

Student’s documentary on DeKalb’s Dee Palmer
will premiere Sept. 18 at Egyptian Theatre

DeKalb, Ill. — NIU’s Department of Communication and filmmaker Andrew McCormick will debut the biographical documentary, “The Legendary Dee Palmer and his Fantastic Band,” at the historic Egyptian Theatre.

The documentary, which focuses on one of DeKalb’s most beloved music makers, will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. Following the film screening will be a question-and-answer session with Dee Palmer and the filmmaker. The event, which is free and open to the public, will conclude with a reception in the theatre lobby.

“The Legendary Dee Palmer and his Fantastic Band” is told through the eyes of Palmer. Born in 1915, Palmer spent his entire life bringing joy to other people through music. He gave up the life of a professional musician in 1948 and returned to his hometown of DeKalb to become director of the community band, a post he has held for more than 60 years.

The DeKalb Municipal Band is one of the two oldest bands in the United States, dating back to 1854. Today, Palmer's name is so synonymous with the band that a statue of his likeness stands near the Dee Palmer Band Shell.

McCormick, who interned this past summer in Hollywood, graduated in August from NIU with a master’s degree in communication studies. Under the guidance of Professor Laura Vazquez, McCormick spent the better part of two years capturing the history and music of Dee Palmer and the band.

“The best documentaries in my opinion are ones that concentrate on an individual and what they do or accomplish in the world,” McCormick says. “Dee is passionate about music, and I found it inspiring that he continues to direct the band with such energy and zeal.”

Sponsors of the premiere include NIU’s Department of Communication, the DeKalb Park District, DeKalb Confectionary, Pizza Villa, the Hillside Restaurant and Alford Enterprises. The film also benefitted from grants from the DeKalb County Community Foundation and the University Film and Video Association, as well as from numerous volunteers and contributors.

DVDs of the documentary film will be available for purchase at the premiere for $12 each. Contact Laura Vazquez at (815) 753-7132 to order a DVD ($15 with shipping and handling) or for more information about the event.

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