Having played about 10,000 solos in his career, Arthur Pryor was known as the "Paganini of the trombone". His playing expressed a lyricism coupled with dazzling technique that was perhaps unequaled for his time. Pryor came to the Sousa's Band as trombone soloist in 1892, leaving a position as conductor of the Stanley Opera Company. He became the star attraction of Sousa's Band, also serving as assistant conductor from 1895 to 1902.
In 1903, the last year he played with Sousa before resigning to form his own band, Pryor was a part of the Sousa's Band's European tour. His solo performances were most favorably received.
As director of his own band, he made six nationwide tours between 1903 and 1909 before settling in to less stringent engagements at Asbury Park, New Jersey, Willow Park Grove, New Jersey, and Royal Palm Park, Miami, Florida. He retired in 1933. Pryor made some 1000 recordings with his band before 1930. He also directed the Sousa's Band in several recordings, even after he had left the group.