A native of New Jersey, Dr. Parks has had a long and varied career as a musician beginning in drum and bugle corps, as a jazz pianist and vibist, and as an orchestral and freelance musician with various orchestras and ensembles from the east coast to Illinois to Texas and back.
Dr. Parks is an active clinician and adjudicator for local and state contests. He served as District 3 President of the Illinois Music Educators Association and holds memberships in the National Association for Music Education and the National Band Association. In addition to his band affiliations, Dr. Parks is a long-time member of the Percussive Arts Society.
Curriculum - Under the leadership of Dr. Parks, the instrumental music program at Metamora was established as one of the most comprehensive programs in the state of Illinois. The Metamora music program was a leader in offering a broad curriculum that included traditional band offerings as well as general music classes designed to reach a broad range of students from beginners to advanced students.
Festivals - Dr. Parks was instrumental in the success of the Annual Metamora Band Invitational; one of the largest and oldest high school marching band competitions in Illinois. He also established and directed the Metamora Concert Band Festival, a non-competitive festival offering bands a state of art performance facility as well as clinics by nationally known composers, college band directors, and music educators. Show of Shows, a DCI scheduled drum corps competition was also coordinated Dr. Parks.
Conducting - The Metamora Wind Ensemble, under his direction, made several national, state, and regional appearances including the 2012 Music for All National Festival performance by the Metamora Wind Ensemble. The ensemble performed and presented all-state choirs and presented clinics at the conference as well. The Metamora Wind Ensemble was twice honored to be invited to the Showcase of Bands at Western Illinois University and the 52nd Annual Band Music Reading and Director's Clinic at Bowling Green State University. Over his tenure at Metamora, Dr. Parks has provided a platform for his students to work with composers such as David Maslanka to Robert Sheldon to college band directors such as Frank Wickes to Paula Crider.
Steel Band - Dr. Parks began his involvement in steel band in the early 1980s beginning with interest in steel pan that was realized with the establish of one of the first collegiate steel bands in the state of Texas at Lamar University. The steel band at Metamora-"Red Steel"-was established in 2000 becoming an integral part of the instrumental music curriculum over the years. "Red Steel" has performed with various pan artists such as Tom Miller and Liam Teague. Over the years, Dr. Parks has presented clinics and discussions on steel band also developing a summer steel band workshop for adults and children.