The electric drive and rhythmic certainty which set Mary Preston
apart as one of the finest concert organists of her generation were
experienced by delegates of the 1994 national convention of the
American Guild of Organists (AGO) meeting in Dallas during her
appearance as soloist with the Dallas Symphony. The critic from one
national journal covering the convention stated that, "Mary Preston
dispatched her part with assurance and élan, and she got wonderful
sounds out of the organ." Ms. Preston also received great accolades
in 1988 with her appearance as recitalist at the national
convention of the AGO in Houston. She was praised for her
"brilliant accounts of two thorny 20th century works" despite the
handicaps of an acoustically difficult room and an inadequate
instrument. "That she succeeded so well is a tribute to the energy
and ability of this fine player", the reviewer said. A true
testament to her exquisite musicianship, popularity among her
colleagues, and demand as a recitalist and concerto soloist came
with her invitations to be one of the featured recitalists at the
1998 AGO national convention in Denver and at the 2004 AGO national
convention in Los Angeles.
She has performed widely throughout North America, including
performances in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Salt Lake City,
Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Ottawa, and Los Angeles. She
appeared at Notre-Dame de Paris by special invitation of the late
Pierre Cochereau and has performed at New York's Riverside Church.
In the summer of 1994 Mary Preston's European recital tour included
recitals at the Merseburg Cathedral in Berlin, St. Nikolai Church
in Leipzig and Oliwa Cathedral in Poland and the Lichtenstein
Palace in Prague.
Ms. Preston graduated with honors and received her Master of
Music degree from the University of North Texas as a student of
Charles Brown and continued post-graduate study with Russell
Saunders at the Eastman School of Music. Her early training was
with Kathryn McCain and Harold Mueller in San Francisco and
followed by study with Garth Peacock at Oberlin Conservatory, John
Walker at San Jose State University and Robert Anderson at Southern
Methodist University. She has also coached and played in
masterclasses with Jean Guillou, Marie-Claire Alain, Pierre
Cochereau, and Michael Radulescu.
She is resident organist of the Dallas Symphony and curator of the
celebrated Lay Family Concert Organ, Op. 100, built by C.B. Fisk,
Inc. in the Meyerson Symphony Hall, Dallas. She has performed
numerous recitals and engagements with the Dallas Symphony upon
this new instrument along with solo recitals and concerts with
organ and brass.
Her first recording upon this instrument, of the music of Widor
and Duruflé, was recorded on the Gothic label (available from
Towerhill-Recordings). It was released in the summer of 1996 and
has received rave reviews in the American Record Guide and Fanfare
record review magazine, among others. Ms. Preston's performances
have been heard numerous times on National Public Radio's
Ms. Preston also serves as Director of Music and Organist at St.
John's Episcopal in Dallas.