Formal Music



Formal Music, Western Music, Western European Music, Serious Music, Art Music...


All of these terms have consistently lost their currency over the past century. Particularly offensive is the term "Serious Music"... As if to say that, when playing Jazz, we are just fooling around...



Dr. Cook coined the term Articulated Music as a poor compromise, yet this is only a term denoting non-Vernacular music ("vernacular" being a non-perjorative).

He has had a long and varied experience in this art form as well as Jazz.

An apocryphal tale about Dizzy Gillespie: he was asked, "Hey Diz, do you ever play any Serious Music?"

Diz replied, "Man, what do you think I'm doing up here?"





Dr. Cook served as Principal Trumpet for the Eastern Shore Philharmonic.  He was also 1st Trumpet for the Eastern Shore Brass Quintet.


Dr. Cook initially played flugelhorn, then held the Solo Cornet Chair for the Montgomery College English Brass Band, which was a semi-professional ensemble directed by Dr. Ernest Wolfle, Jr. 


He served as Principal Trumpet  for the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra prior to becoming its Music Director and Conductor.


Dr. Cook was Principal Trumpet for The Montgomery Philharmonic, a "teaching" and performing orchestra for 3 years until forced to cut back due to a series of myocardial infarctions culminating in a triple bypass (CABGx3).

Nonetheless, he continues to play the trumpet as a soloist, for chamber music, and ensembles.


"As a composer, I have had a rather haphazard experience!  I wrote my fair share of juvenilia, all of which has long since been (literally) consigned to the flames.  I have written much in the Jazz idiom, as well as forays into what I will call the American Popular Song idiom (these are tunes that I wish I could have sent to my friend, the late, great Bobby Short, or to Mel Tormé)."


"Having composed a good bit in the vernacular styles (again, I do not consider this a pejorative term), I have have for some years directed what time I have to the construction of various concert and liturgical music idioms."


"Although I have writing and arranging credits for my own CD, Chris Vadala’s CD, Out of the Shadows, as well as for Vaughn Nark, and other arranging credits, I dismiss these because I prefer to focus upon my articulate music compositions."


"Wishing to study composition upon entrance to graduate school, this was denied by Eugene O'Brien because I had no prior undergraduate training as a composer.  The next best thing (I reasoned) was the study of Music Theory.  This has had mixed results, as you can imagine.  One is neither one thing nor the other.  However, when the ‘Enthusiam’ strikes me, and I am granted the time, I put all aside and do what I can.”



Liturgical Music


Meditations upon Saints for Organ

Meditation upon St. Andrew

(for Mark King)

Meditation upon St. Anne

(for Reverend Doctor Anne Boyd)

Meditation upon St. John

(for the Congregation of St. John's Parish, Hagerstown, MD)

Meditation upon St. Luke

(for the Reverend Joseph and Mrs. Nancy Rickarts

Meditation upon St. Mary

(for Helen)


Exaudiat te Domine

Anthem for Mixed Chorus and Organ


Music for the Episcopal Eucharist

Ninefold Kyrie Eleison



Agnus Dei


Simple Anglican Chant Canticle Settings for Morning Prayer


Come Down O Love Divine (Down Ampney)

Brass Sextet Intrada and SATB Choir and Organ Setting


Festival Intrada and descants for Pentecost on

“Salve feste dies”

Brass Sextet/Quintet and Timpani


Epithalamium: I. Processional; II. Recessional

(For Margaux and Andrew Nicolette)


Setting for Piano and Organ of Come Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing (Nettleton)


Vocal Music


"Knoxville, Summer 2015" for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra

(For Jillian Alise Wiley)

(In progress)

"Waking" for Soprano and Piano on poems of Ron Rash

(for Lawren Diana Hill Palmer)

“I lived with visions for my company”

from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Songs from the Portuguese, No. XXVI

Mezzo soprano and Piano


“Through the Straight Pass of Suff’ring”

Mezzo Soprano and Piano


Four Songs on Poems of Katie Blake

Soprano and Piano

(For Elizabeth Turchi)


“The Widow’s Watch”

Mezzo Soprano and Piano


Ensemble, Chamber, and Solo Music


Suite for Piano, “Lichfield Recollections”


Sonata No. 1 for Piano, “The Changeling”

(for Jason Solounias)

Sonata No. 2 for Piano, "Apotropaic Periapt"

Brass Quintet No.1, “Linear Progressions”


Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

(for Nicholas Corasaniti and Simone Sarno),


Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Bassoon

(for The Shepherd Faculty Woodwind Trio)


“Elusinian Mysteries,” Variables for Solo ‘Cello

(for Stephen Czarkowski)



Concert Overture for Orchestra

(for Dr. Gerald Frank Muller)

Symphony for Wind Ensemble 

"Dawn at Fox Gap"

(for Dr. Scott Allen Hippensteel)

Symphony No. 1, Sine Nomine



From the CD/iTunes recording Live at St. John's

~The Vestry Blues

     ~Ballad for Bill

       ~EAC (v.2)

                  ~Shaw Thing!


From the CD Set Theory: Prime Form

~ “Ariana”

        ~ “EAC”


From the CD Out of the Shadows (Chris Vadala)

~“Waltz for Chris’s Kids”




~ “Asking Me Not to Love You”


                ~ “Whenever Star-Cossed Lovers Part”


            ~ “A Light in the Darkness”


~ “ For Awhile”


Other Tunes

~“Thought it Was”



               (Also arranged by Mike Kamuf for Mike Kamuf Little Big Band)


                 ~“First Light”


                                                    ~Three O’clock and All’s Well