Musicians – Tenor
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Richard is the Director of Music at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church in Augusta, GA, serves as Resident Conductor of the Augusta Opera, and is Music Director of the NOVUS Chamber Orchestra in Winston-Salem, NC.
Richard has served as Resident Conductor of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra in Winston-Salem, and for 17 seasons as Artistic Director of the North State Chorale. He has also served as assistant conductor for both Piedmont Opera Theatre and the Greensboro Opera Company. Richard’s many conducting opportunities have taken him to Romania (Baccau Philharmonic), to Missouri (St. Louis Symphony Chorus), to the NY City based Gregg Smith Singers, as well as throughout North Carolina on the podiums for various professional, college and youth orchestras. Richard has taught on the faculties of Elon University, High Point University, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
A native North Carolinian, Richard earned a BA from Pfeiffer University, an MM in opera from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a DMA in orchestral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the Diploma in orchestral conducting from the University of Catania, Sicily.
In addition to his conducting activities, Dr. Cook has appeared as a tenor soloist in opera and oratorio performances in the United States and Europe, most recently performing with Carolina Baroque. He resides in Augusta with his wife, Carol, and their son, John.
Mark is music director of the Augusta Youth Chorale, Assistant Professor of Music at Erskine College, and directs the music ministry at Christ Church Presbyterian in Evans, GA. He is also the Assistant Conductor of the University of South Carolina University Chorus.
Mark headed the Choral and Vocal Department at Brevard College, served for ten years as Director of Music on the staff of First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, and was Director of Music in Memphis Tennessee at the Second Presbyterian Church. He has guest conducted student and adult choral organizations throughout the Southeastern United States, and over to Europe (Odessa Philharmonic and Chorus in the Ukraine). Mark has also enjoyed opportunities as a tenor soloist with the Brevard Chamber Orchestra, the Hendersonville Symphony and the Asheville Bach Festival.
Mark was born into a parsonage family in northern Minnesota, and grew up in the midwest. He earned a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of South Carolina Columbia, a M.Mus. degree from the Eastman School of Music, and Bachelor of Music degree from Houghton College. He lives with his wife, Fran, and their four children in Evans, Georgia.