Love Will Find a Way
Preston Bailey was born in Hollywood in 1950 and grew up in Malibu where he began playing organ, accordion and guitar. His family moved back to Hollywood in 1960 but he sorely missed surfing and the beach. Four years later when his parents suggested he go to a private school and to pick one, he found a school with it's own beach, Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, CA. During his four years there he studied clarinet, sax and arranging for big bands. He spent hours playing piano and drums in the band room and played bass in a local rock band. He studied under Al Pohamus during the school year and, among others, Art Dedrick, who started Kendor Music, during the summers. After leaving high school, Preston studied at the University of Redlands for a few years but due to Viet Nam and other distractions, he left to pursue music out in the world. He started playing with a wide assortment of bands for the next several years. He played folk guitar with Clabe Hangan, a local folk hero, lead guitar with a 3 piece power rock band, bass with a 5 piece club band (before he was old enough to go to the clubs), sax with a 7 piece funk group (as the only white), bass with an 8 piece dance band (called "Octopus"), keyboards (B3 with Leslies) with a 10 piece group touring Air Force Bases, and vibes with a 16 piece jazz band. Preston moved back to the Hollywood area where he studied with Roger Dollarhide at Paramount Recording Studios to be a recording engineer. He started writing and did a great deal of recording of music, film scores, and commercials in the next few years at Paramount and in his home studio. He also worked with sound effects for films at Soundco and special effects commercials at Las Palmas Productions. In between everything else he toured with Music Americana presenting a program on the history of American music for school assemblies throughout California to well over 1,000,000 students of all ages. In the spring of 1983, Preston felt it was time to get out of L.A. and moved to the banks of the Kentucky River. He met his wife, Sherrie, and had their first daughter, Celeste. While being a stay-at-home dad, he started teaching privately in 1984 but the winters were too much for the family living that far out in the country so they moved to northern California. Preston went back to school in 1986 at Sonoma State University to complete his degree in Music Education. His second daughter, Crystal, was born in 1988 and that slowed down his studies as he became primary care giver one more time. While going to school he started working in local schools teaching music. He taught everything from the preschool through college. During his second semester as a student at SSU he actually taught Theory 1 (3 units) for the university as well as a couple of recording classes there. He finished his degree in January 1992 and earned his teaching credential in June of that year. During his last year in school he was teaching everything from third grade music reading to high school jazz band for a total of 34 classes per week in 8 different schools, in 5 different districts, in 2 different counties. The Petaluma School District had cut elementary music the year before but after much negotiation with the superintendent, the high school booster groups and the school board, a coalition was put together to hire Preston to be the Elementary Music Director in the seven schools of the Petaluma district and three in a neighboring district that fed into one of the two high schools. Each booster group agreed to put in $12,000 the first year, $6,000 the second, and $3,000 the third with the school board picking up the slack the first year and the general fund taking over after that. The program was so successful that in the first five years there were 44 articles written about the program in local, regional and national publications and Preston raised over $100,000 from parents. Over the course of eight years, Preston was able to grow the program to include four full-time certificated music teachers for the elementary schools in his district who taught every first through sixth grader and convinced the neighboring district to start their own program. After eight years he transferred to one of the two junior high schools in town where he is beginning his seventh year as Music Director teaching four bands and a choir during school as well as "Rock & Roll 101" after school with sponsorship from a local music store and several major manufacturers. He is known as Mr. Conductor Dude to his students. Preston holds a B.A. in Music Education, a Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development Credential, a Conflict Resolution Certificate and is recipient of a PTA Honorary Service Award. He has been honored by inclusion multiple times in "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who in the World," "Who's Who in American Education," and four times in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers." Only 5% of teachers are ever nominated for this last honor and less that 2% ever get in more than once. To be nominated for "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" you must be nominated by a former or current student who is listed in Who's Who Among American High School Students, The National Dean's List, or The Chancellor's List. Preston is divorced but spends as much time as he can with his two daughters who are now 19 and 23. He is currently Music Director and Activities Director at Petaluma Junior High School.