Golden Apple: Greg Priest


(Aiken, SC)

Greg Priest took an early love of music and turned it into a career.

“I started band in middle school at Aiken Middle School in 6th grade,” Priest says. “I had a friend who played saxophone and it’s something that interested me.”

If you’re wondering why you’re not hearing music in Mr. Priest’s Band and Orchestra room, it’s because these students are mastering other components of the class.

“This is AP Music Theory. It’s kind of an in-depth look at how music is created and written. Our class is based on how music was written in the 1700’s. Today we’re learning part writing, and using open and closed structures using roman numeral analysis.”

After they get this part, they can move on to making great music.

“They’re learning all the new, basic rules, so later they can break all the rules and compose music  that people would consider more modern nowadays.”

When Priest isn’t teaching, he’s leading his students on trips around the community and the country. This award winning operation stays busy with concerts and competitions that always bring home the hardware.

All the while, making audiences feel good.

“We are here, not only so that we can have a performance from ourselves, but it’s here to take anything, like a hardship, off the mind of the people who are sitting in the audience.  Our job is, how can I make your day better and how can we make everybody else’s day who’s here to experience this, better.”

Greg Priest. A product of Aiken county schools, now  giving back to his students and his hometown.

“I grew up on Aiken my whole life and to be back at Aiken High School really means a lot to me,” he says. “How can I take my experience at Aiken High School and give it to the kids who are here now, and further the community?  I want it to be,  when they’re 40 years old, how are they still performing in the community and still being involved. That’s really my long-term goal.”

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