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Shepherd music professor a finalist in international competition

January 17, 2012

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Dr. Mark Cook, assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies at Shepherd University, was recently named a finalist of the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition 2011, awarded by the National Academy of Music in Greece.

Cook submitted his piece, “Piano Sonata,” to the master status category of the competition. It is among more than 210 compositions from entrants worldwide.

The piece was originally written for his former student Jason Solounias. Cook said that the work was “unfinished strands” of music from throughout his career and requires being performed by someone who possesses the intuitive and aesthetic skills allowing for spontaneous composition.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservancy 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.

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