Renowned music educator, academic and musician Professor Gary E. McPherson has been presented with the 'Star of Parkes', Parkes Shire Council's highest symbolic honour, inspired by the tradition of presenting 'Keys to the City'.

Council's Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM, presented Professor McPherson with the Star of Parkes at the recent Overture event, held at Parkes' Cooke Park Pavilion on Saturday, 2 April 2022.

"Gary McPherson has led a distinguished career as a world-class music professional, with over 30 years' teaching music education, research techniques, music psychology, performance science and musicianship," Cr Keith said.

"Growing up here in Parkes, Gary played soprano cornet in the Parkes Town Band, and by the age of 16, had won over 50 regional, state and national titles, before he changed to trumpet in high school. He then went on to complete a four-year Diploma of Music Education at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, graduating in 1977, before undertaking further studies at Trinity College, London, as well as Indiana University and the University of Sydney," he said.

"In addition to his significant experience as a music educator, professional trumpeter and conductor, Gary has researched and published numerous books on musical development, performance science and psychology and achieved global recognition for his contribution to these fields."

Cr Keith said Professor McPherson has been a wonderful ambassador for Parkes Shire and hoped that his considerable achievements would inspire future generations to achieve their best in their chosen fields.

"We are extremely proud of Gary and the wonderful role model that he has been for Parkes Shire and for the musical community, and our recent night of musical theatre and opera that was Overture, was a fitting and special reception for a recipient of his musical calibre and prowess," he said.

"The Star of Parkes recognises his dedication, ability, and desire to succeed and the sacrifices that he has made to reach the pinnacle of his career."

The Star of Parkes has previously been awarded to five outstanding citizens, most recently to local hockey legend and Olympian, Mariah Williams, for her excellence in sport at an international level.