Cook honored by Iowa Bandmasters Association

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Steve Cook of Perry, center, played "Taps," and "Echo" was played by Jessie Laughridge of Perry at last year's Memorial Day ceremonies in Perry. Cook was recently honored with the Karl King Distinguished Service Award by the Iowa Bandmasters Association.

Steve Cook
Steve Cook

Longtime Perry High School Director of Bands Steve Cook of Perry was recently honored with the 2016 Karl King Distinguished Service Award-Retired by the Iowa Bandmasters Association.

Cook’s colleagues in the South Central Iowa Bandmaster’s Association nominated him for the honor, which was ratified by the the statewide organization and bestowed May 14 at the Iowa Bandmasters Association annual conference in Des Moines.

Cook is currently the auditorium manager for the Perry Performing Arts Center. He retired as director of bands at Perry High School in 2014, a position he had held since 1986. He was also head of the PHS Fine Arts Department and was responsible for all aspects of the school’s instrumental music program, including concert band, marching band, jazz band, pep band, music theory and music technology courses.

Cook also directed the Perry Area Community Band from 1986 to 2014. Prior to his position in Perry, Cook spent five years as junior high school and elementary school band director at North Fayette Community Schools in West Union, Iowa.

During his lengthy tenure, Cook recieved the Otley Masonic Lodge Educator of the Year Award in 2014 and the Iowa Bandmasters Association Karl King Award–Active in 2008. Ensembles under Cook’s direction consistently earned high ratings at local, district and state contests. He and two Perry High School colleagues were the recipients of a nationwide U.S. West “Connecting Teachers with Technology” grant.

Cook is a member of the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors as state secretary for the Iowa Bandmasters Association. He is past president of the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association, past president and past chief negotiator for the Perry Education Association.

Cook’s other professional associations include membership in the American School Band Directors Association, the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, the Iowa Technology and Education Connection and the Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. He currently serves on the Perry Activities Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

In his spare time, Cook freelances as a computer consultant, designs web sites, performs regularly with local dance bands and enjoys collecting and operating Lionel trains.

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