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John M. Cooksey's contributions to the choral music profession, both as an educator and a conductor, were documented using the following research questions: (1) What individuals, events, and experiences led Cooksey to pursue a career in choral music education? (2) What activities and events shaped Cooksey's philosophies and methods while working at Oak Grove Junior High; H. B. Plant High School; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (as a Graduate Student); California State University, Fullerton; Memphis State University; and the University of Utah? (3) What contributed to Cooksey's decision to develop the Choral Performance Rating Scale (CPRS), and how did this further his career and influence as a music educator? (4) What individuals, events, and experiences initiated and furthered his interest and contributions to the area of the male adolescent changing voice? (5) What were Cooksey's philosophies as a choral conductor, and how did they evolve throughout his career? (6) What music did Cooksey program, and what trends were demonstrated through his programming? Each period of Cooksey's life was full of important events and individuals that contributing to Cooksey's career as a music educator. He was born October 27, 1942 in Charlotte, North Carolina to Rufus and Mary Cooksey who provided a nurturing atmosphere. Cooksey's early church music experiences with Paul Langston instilled in him a desire to major in music. At Florida State University and later at the University of Illinois, Cooksey's mentors provided a foundation where upon he built a successful career in public and higher education. Cooksey's contributions to music education cover a wide spectrum of areas ranging from his pioneering development in the objective rating of choral performance to noteworthy impact as a choral conductor—performing a wide variety of literature for national and international audiences. Cooksey is best-known for providing thousands of teachers with valuable tools for classifying and working with the male adolescent changing voice. Through hundreds of clinics, Cooksey's methods have clarified and provided the groundwork for future study in this area.
Music Educator, Male Adolescent Changing Voice, Choral, Conductor, University of Utah, H. B. Plant High School, Voice Classification
Date of Defense
May 22, 2009.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Kevin A. Fenton, Professor Directing Dissertation; Christopher Moore, Outside Committee Member; André J. Thomas, Committee Member; Alice-Ann Darrow, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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