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Ross Prestia

2000 Distinguished Service Award

Ross Prestia was officially appointed NFA’s Exhibits Chair beginning with the Second Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1974. He brought to the NFA an unsurpassed breadth of personal and professional experience. Ross began flute lessons in the fourth grade. After military service, he enrolled in pre-law at the St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, then changed majors his second year, to become their first Music Degree graduate. In 1949, before he became a music teacher in the Mr. Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania, Don McCarthern recruited Ross to assist the Exhibits Chairperson for the Mid-East Music Conference. He served there as Assistant Exhibits chair for the next 18 years along with teaching, conducting, and, later, working as an education consultant and sales representative to the school bands throughout southwest Pennsylvania. Because pf Ross’s long association with Pittsburgh and his experience running exhibits, Mark Thomas found him to be the perfect fit for the new position of the NFA Exhibits Chair, where he served for more than 13 years. Ross worked closely with mark and many other to shape and influence NFA policy and practice, weaving a substantial legacy and tradition which continue to serve the NFA and its Exhibit Hall in many ways today.