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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Cook Named Dean of Programs at Merit

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Cook Named Dean of Programs at Merit

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Jan 17, 2012
Chicago, IL

Susan Cook, a 19-year veteran of music performance, teaching and administration, will join Merit School of Music as dean of programs this month. In this role, she will implement all of Merit’s programs, including Bridges: Partners in Music in 45 Chicago public schools, early childhood, instrumental music and the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory. As part of the executive team, Cook will develop and oversee a faculty of 125 instructors and 12 staff members.

Cook returns to Merit after five years of serving at peer organizations, including her most recent position as director of Sherwood, The Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago. She also served as director of marketing and communications for Midwest Young Artists in Highwood, Ill. Cook held numerous positions during her tenure at Merit from 1994-2006, including director of Bridges: Partners in Music program and director of faculty development.

During this time, Cook has also taught saxophone and band to students of all ages, elementary through college.  She will continue her adjunct faculty position as lecturer at DePaul University. An accomplished saxophonist, she actively performs with ensembles and orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony, Hamilton Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, Chicago Opera Theatre, CUBE, Chicago Arts Players, Chicago Music Collective and more.

“Clearly Ms. Cook’s depth of experience in music education and administration, as well as her incredible musical talent, will help guide Merit’s continuum of affordable programs offered to more than 6,000 Chicago students each year,” said Tom Bracy, executive director at Merit.

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