Dr. Mark Andrew Cook Receives BMO Director's Choice Award!

Dr. Mark Andrew Cook, Associate Professor of Music at Shepherd University, received a Director's Choice Award in the Art Song Category from The Boston Metropolitan Opera's 2013 composition competition for his song cycle, Waking, set to poems of Shepherd University Appalachian Heritage Writer in Residence Ron Rash. Named the 2012 West Virginia Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer, Dr. Cook's song cycle was premiered at Shepherd University for the WVMTA Conference this past October, performed by pianist Dr. Robert Scott Beard, Associate VPAA and Dean of Graduate Studies, and Shepherd alumna, soprano Lawren Diana Hill, currently completing her Master's in Opera Studies at the Manhattan School of Music.

The competition drew over 400 entries from 70 countries spanning six continents. As stipulated in the award announcement, the piece will be queued for performance as part of Boston Metropolitan Opera's regular season.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in 1978 with a degree in music education, Cook came to Shepherd in 2005. He graduated from Catholic University with a master's degree in music theory in 1990 and doctorate in 2004. He is an honorary, fully-inducted member of Phi Mu Alpha, Xi Epsilon Chapter, the national music fraternity, and an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota, the national women's music fraternity. Cook performs throughout the region and is in demand as a jazz clinician and adjudicator. Cook is a guest lecturer in music theory and composition at the Barbara Ingram School of the Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland, and is currently writing an online textbook, "Foundations of Music Theory," to be released in July by Flat World Knowledge Publishing.