Cambridge woman to sing National Anthem at River Bandits game

Sandy Hull
Glenna Palmer of Cambridge, standing with the microphone, sings a solo while someone dances with the Geneseo Kitchen Band. Palmer, who has been a member of the band for 12-15 years, will also be singing the National Anthem at the Quad Cities River Bandits game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport, Iowa.

    Glenna Palmer of Cambridge is a very talented woman and she loves to share that talent with the public.

    Palmer, who has lost part of her sight, will be singing the National Anthem at the Quad Cities River Bandits game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport, Iowa.

    “I heard about the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the River Bandits game while listening to the radio one day,” Palmer said. “Singing is something I really enjoy.”

    Palmer is also a member of the Geneseo Kitchen Band along with 17 other people. She sings soprano.

    “We practice one night a week and perform two or three times a week,” she said. “The people in the band are wonderful and very helpful since I am not able to drive anymore. Someone always comes and picks me up and takes me home, something that I am very thankful for.”

    While the Geneseo Kitchen Band performs free of charge all over the area, they also accept donations according to Palmer. Donations are used to purchase new equipment and for such things as travel expense.

    “Right now we need to purchase a new sound system with speakers and the works,” she said. “They are expensive.”

    The band performs in the Quad Cities area, including the Iowa side, Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee and other nearby towns.

    “We travel just about anywhere and perform anywhere,” Palmer said. “Irene Lang of Geneseo lines up all the engagements and Sharon Weber of Geneseo is in charge of arranging the music for the month. We are welcome to offer her selections, but she ultimately puts the programs together. Our programs change every month so no one gets bored.”

    Palmer said the July program includes one special song in it for those serving overseas, “Say A Prayer for The Boys Over There.”

    The band has a full schedule for the remainder of July. They will perform in Geneseo Friday, July 23, at Hammond-Henry Hospital and Tuesday, July 27, at Good Samaritan. On Wednesday, July 28, the band will take a road trip to Heartland in Galesburg and on Friday, July 30, they will perform at the River Park Health Care Center in Rock Island.

    “Performing with the band is something I really enjoy and look forward to every week,” Palmer said. “I have been with the group for 12-15 years now, joining the group after hearing them perform at a function in Kewanee.”

    Palmer said her favorite types of songs to sing are love ballads with the Tennessee Waltz being her personal favorite.

    “Singing with the band not only brings me pleasure, but it makes people happy when they watch us perform and sing along with us,” she said. “I’ll never forget one performance. We were at a nursing home and a daughter of one of the residents came up and talked with us afterwards. She had been trying to talk with her mom and never ever got any response, but when the band sang ‘Little Red Wagon’ the mom sat right up and started singing the words to the song. It made the daughter's day.”

    Singing has always come naturally for Palmer, but she admits she had  a little over three years of voice lessons which helped her decide how to use her voice the way it was meant to be used, as a soprano.

    In school, she also played the clarinet and while attending college, wanted to composte music for a big band, but never did.

    Palmer is also a member of the Cambridge United Methodist Church and its choir.

    She has also served as the church treasurer, president of the United Methodist Women and secretary of the church council.

    In her spare time, Palmer enjoys playing the piano. She  also bowled for about 50 years and was the league secretary for many of those years.

    “I also loved to pitch horseshoes,” she said.

    Palmer has three children, Sandra Gibson of Cambridge, Maureen Meyer of North Liberty, Iowa, and Kirk Palmer of Cambridge, nine grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.