Preston Smith is a church musician, pianist, organist, choral conductor, freelance accompanist for Broadway and opera singers, and music teacher. He moved to New York City in 2003 to be Associate Director of Music and Director of Choristers at Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Park Avenue. In 2007 he was named Organist and Director of Music at the Church of the Ascension, Broadway and 107th Street, where he conducts a semi-professional choir of adults and plays over 200 masses each year. Also, he is Musical Director of the renowned Victor A. Perley Choristers, comprised of 35 middle schoolers representing Manhattan and beyond. Former board member and publicist for the New York City chapter of the AGO (American Guild of Organists), Preston has worked for Columbia University's Saint Paul's Chapel, and for New York University's voice department.
Prior to New York, Preston served prominent Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Catholic churches and two universities in South Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida. In Charleston, SC he coordinated the Piccolo Spoleto Festival of Churches, played piano and celesta with the percussion section of the Charleston Symphony, and accompanied the Charleston Children’s Chorus. In Tampa, FL he was Sub-Dean and Dean of the local AGO chapter and pianist for Opera Tampa.
A South Carolina native, Preston graduated from Furman University, University of South Carolina, and Westminster Choir College, Princeton, with advanced degrees in music performance and educational administration. He has concertized as organist in London and Oxford, England; Miami, Atlanta, Charleston, and the major churches of New York City, has played and taught at conventions of the AGO and AAM (Association of Anglican Musicians), and has conducted choirs at Washington National Cathedral, Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, and Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Preston has performed for Oprah Winfrey, Miss Black America, Star Jones, Hillary Clinton, the Walter Cronkite family, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, “Sounds of the Holidays” for Fox television, New York’s Steinway Hall, The Plaza and Pierre Hotels, The Princeton Club, Birdland Jazz Club, and shared the stage with pop icon Patti LaBelle. Other credits include Inside Edition, NBC Nightly News, a wedding episode in syndication for Bravo television, print work in Florida and New York, and a number of nationally-broadcast commercials.