Gary Cook is well known as the author of Teaching Percussion, currently in its third edition with DVDs and used world-wide. He founded the percussion department in 1975 at the University of Arizona where he taught for 33 years until retiring in 2008. Prior to that he taught at Louisiana Tech University. Cook was Timpanist and Principal Percussionist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for over two decades and held similar posts with the Arizona Opera and other orchestras. In the summer, Cook is Principal Percussionist with the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado and has performed with other summer music festivals in Colorado and Nevada. He enjoys commissioning new music for percussion and chamber music and voice combinations and has premiered and recorded many commissions. His most recent CD on Albany Records features the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Wind Ensemble. He is honored to be a SABIAN Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and endorse SABIAN products and philosophy. Cook was President of PAS from 2007-2008 and received the PAS Lifetime Achievement in Education Award in 2011. He is most proud of his many former students who hold distinguished professorships in colleges and universities around the country and in Trinidad, perform professionally around the world, and are successful teachers and performers in all areas of music and the arts.
Q & A
BORN IN: Jackson, MI
LIVES IN: Tucson, AZ and Crested Butte, CO
DRUMMING SINCE: 1961
CURRENT BAND/PROJECT(S): Currently performing the Philip Glass “Concerto Fantasy for two Timpanists and Wind Ensemble” around the country, giving clinics, and presenting master classes.
BIGGEST INFLUENCE(S): Jazz and Classical music
FAVOURITE ALBUM YOU PLAYED ON: “Towers of Power” Albany, Troy 1108
FAVOURITE ALBUM YOU DIDN’T PLAY ON: Duet, Gary Burton & Chick Corea
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Receiving the SABIAN Lifetime Achievement Award, President of the Percussive Arts Society
FAVORITE SABIAN CYMBAL: HHX New Symphonic Germanic