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Obama’s inauguration includes Potsdam flair

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SUNY Potsdam was well represented during President Barack Obama’s second inauguration Monday.

The directors of two military bands regaling Mr. Obama have roots at the Crane School of Music.

“SUNY Potsdam and its Crane School of Music have produced some immensely talented graduates and the college is so proud to see our alums play a part in this historic celebration,” said Alexandra M. Jacobs, university spokeswoman.

As the president’s inaugural parade worked its way from the Capitol to the White House, it was led by the U.S. Army Band, with SUNY Potsdam alumnus Col. Thomas H. Palmatier at its head.

Col. Palmatier is a 1975 Crane graduate and a 36-year Army veteran.

He previously served as commandant of the U.S. Army School of Music as well as executive officer to the adjutant general of the Army. As Department of the Army staff bands officer, he oversaw activities for all active, Reserve and National Guard bands.

The Marine Band, also known as “The President’s Own,” also marched in the inaugural parade. Though he did not graduate from SUNY Potsdam, director Col. Michael J. Colburn spent his freshman and sophomore years of college at Crane. As Marine Band director, a position once held by John Philip Sousa, Col. Colburn is also music adviser to the White House.

“Colonel Palmatier and Colonel Colburn are exceptional ambassadors for excellence in music education and performance,” Ms. Jacobs said. “Julia Crane would be proud.”

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