An overview of Gerald R. Prescott's 1935 "The Prescott Technic System" with recommendations for a contemporary edition

Carson Lee Vermillion


Gerald R. Prescott (1902-2005) served as the Director of Bands at Mason City (Iowa) High School from 1927-31. During his tenure, Prescott established himself as an outstanding band director and music educator. While serving as the Director of Bands at the University of Minnesota, Prescott published The Prescott Technic System ; a band curriculum employing excerpts from conservatory methods to develop individual technique. The system encompassed fourteen years of study, from beginning band through graduate school. Due to the performance expectations placed on today's instrumental music programs, little time remains for a sequenced individual course of study that adequately develops a high level of technique. Prescott's system, currently out of print, is virtually unknown by contemporary music educators. It is employed by only a select number of music programs in the United States. This system, if modernized to correlate to contemporary music curricula, could benefit instrumental music programs. For this project, outline systems for the Arban and Klosé methods were analyzed, compared to modern full-ensemble band methods, and updated to create models for a contemporary edition of Prescott's system. Suggestions were outlined for the implementation of the system into today's band class. These contemporary editions could serve as models for the development of contemporary systems for the remaining members of the wind band.