Mr. Robert Cook is a native of Massachusetts. He has always had a desire to make music his career, and he has played both the clarinet and the saxophone since he was in the third grade.
Following his graduation from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, he was beckoned by the United States Army where he was associated with the amphibian engineers. He toured New Guinea the Phillippines, and Japan; during that time had the opportunity to do some band work with such shows as Jack Benny’s Kay Kyser’s, Little Jack Heller’s and a few others that were in that area.
When asked what made him start a band for THS he stated simply “there was a need for one, wasn’t there”
During his time at Torrington High School Mr. Cook started the first Torrington High School Band and was responsible for the uniform drive that led to the first Torrington High School Marching Band uniforms.
Taken from The X-Ray Torrington High School Newspaper – November 1947
First Band Concert to be given May 13, 1948
The first annual Band Concert will be presented by the newly organized Torrington High School Band on May 13,1948 at 8:15 in the H.S. Auditiorium. It will be the band’s first public appearance in their sparkling new maroon and gray uniforms.
The program for a first-year band is indeed an ambitious one which will include several class A selections required by the National High School Festival Association. These selections are a test foe even veteran performers.
Special features of the program will be a trombone solo by the capable George Foeller and a trumpet trio by Messer, Longobucco, Signorelli and Pratt.
The complete program is as follows:
“Overture to the Student Prince”
“Komm Susser Tod”
“The Message” Concertino for Trombone
The Trumpeters – Trumpet Trio
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Obituary of Robert M. Cook
ROBERT M. COOK of Lethbridge passed away on August 9, 2010 at the age of 88 years at the Chinook Regional Hospital. Bob is survived by his wife Beth; children Linda (Ron) Muskopf, Dick (Mary) Cook, Janet Christians (Frank) and Christine (Gary) Vucurevich; 12 grandchildren and 12 great- grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents Mason and Dorothea Cook; brother Babson Cook and sister Glenna Sharkey.
Bob was born on June 15, 1922 in Ipswich, Mass. His career in music and teaching began in New England until he moved to Spokane, Wa. in 1962 and finally to Alberta. He came to Canada in 1971 as the Supervisor of Music for Alberta Culture, Youth and Recreation, became the Director of the Alberta College Music Centre and then returned to Alberta Culture as the Director of Performing Arts. He served as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, music teacher and promoter of the Arts across North America. Bob came to the University of Lethbridge in 1984 when he was invited to create a School of Fine Arts. He became the first Director/Dean retiring in 1989.
One of Bob’s proudest accomplishments was the formation of the Lethbridge Community Band in 1987 which he conducted for 10 years. He was a loving father, caring friend, inspirational teacher and beloved husband who will be dearly missed.