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Mary Preston

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 "Pipedreams".

Ms. Preston also serves as Director of Music and Organist at St. John's Episcopal in Dallas.