Mr. Preston Prior serves as the Director of Bands for Hector P. Garcia Middle School since the 2015-2016 school year. Since his arrival, the program has grown from around 40 to 375 students. The Garcia MS Band received its’ first-ever UIL Sweepstakes award for Concert and Sight-Reading Contest under Mr. Prior's direction. Mr. Prior has also successfully converted the program from mixed heterogenous beginner classes to homogenous beginner classes thanks to the addition of an Associate Director of Bands (Mr. Joshua Black) during the 2016-2017 school year.
In addition to teaching at Garcia MS, Mr. Prior is a professional trumpet player, conductor, and clinician. Mr. Prior founded the Dallas Civic Wind Ensemble in Summer 2010 - an all-professional Wind Symphony / Wind Band that performs in the the DFW Metroplex. Mr. Prior serves as the ensemble's Executive Director as well as associate conductor and occasional trumpet section member. The ensemble has been featured at the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention in San Antonio where they put on a clinic for student-day presenting the music of composer John Mackey as well as giving a featured performance. Mr. Prior was previously the director of bands at Walnut Grove Middle School in Midlothian, TX as well as the Music Department Chair of Bishop Dunne Catholic School teaching band, orchestra, and choir.
Mr. Prior holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois with a degree in music education with a focus in brasswinds and conducting. Mr. Prior studied trumpet with Rick Leister, Steven Eggleston, and Amy McCabe of the President's Own Marine Band. Mr. Prior studied instrumental and orchestral conducting under Steven Eggleston and, and choral conducting under Dr. J. Scott Ferguson, and Dr. Timothy Koch. During his time at Illinois Wesleyan, Mr. Prior formed a concert band which still puts on performances. Mr. Prior began his Master's of Music Education with focus on instrumental conducting at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Prior transferred to the University of Texas At Arlington with a full graduate teaching assistant appointment. There, Mr. Prior studied under Dr. Douglas Stotter and Dr. John Zastoupil. Mr. Prior was an an assistant with the marching band, assisted in teaching music education and conducting courses, ran the indoor athletic bands program (Mav Brass), and conducted the Symphonic Band. He also served as principal trumpet of both the UTA Wind Symphony and UTA Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Prior graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA from UTA.
Mr. Prior is a member of the National Association of Music Educators, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and Kappa Delta Pi honors society for educators.
Aside from music / band directing, Mr. Prior is an avid traveler having been to most of the US states and over a dozen countries internationally. He also enjoys playing tennis, exploring the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving.