Rebecca Rowell Cooke, the daughter of Edd and Ruth Rowell of Macon, began her journey in music singing harmonies with the family of five on road trips. She sampled violin, oboe, and piano before deciding clarinet was her favorite. Rebecca participated in All-State band or orchestra every year from 7th grade through the 12th grade. She went to Governor’s Honors Program in music as a sophomore and the following year received the Bellsouth Scholarship to study at Brevard Music Center for the summer.
Cooke studied with William E. Fitzgerald, Dr. James E. Jensen, and Dr. Theodore E. Jahn. Rebecca holds degrees from Samford University and the University of Georgia in clarinet performance, piano, voice, and music history. She has performed as principal and assistant principal with the Macon, Alabama, Gainesville, Toccoa, and Monroe Symphonies, and as soloist with the Alabama Symphony Chamber Orchestra and at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston on Eb Clarinet. Although Rebecca has not yet crossed off the bucket list goal of singing back-up with Billy Joel, she has performed in groups with John Berry and Special Consensus, and performed for master classes with Wynton Marsalis, Richard Stolzmann, and Howard Klugg.
Rebecca has been teaching clarinet privately since 1990 and has served as instructor for bands and band camps in Georgia and Alabama, including the Band and Drum Major Academy at GC&SU for several years. At the University of Georgia, Rebecca served as Dr. Jahn’s assistant, teaching the freshmen clarinet majors and any minors or elective students brave enough to sign up for her class. In 1999, she was named “Outstanding Teaching Assistant” for the university. While at Samford and UGA, Cooke performed with the wind ensembles, orchestras, contemporary chamber ensembles, and countless other chamber groups including a chamber group dedicated solely to the music of Iannis Xenakis.
Rebecca is currently serving as adjunct faculty at Georgia College and Wesleyan College where she teaches clarinet, seminars, and woodwind ensembles. She also serves as Graded Choir Coordinator at First Baptist Church of Christ, Macon. Rebecca is a member of the International Clarinet Association, the professional fraternity Delta Omicron, and MMC of Macon. She lives in Macon with her husband, the Honorable K. David Cooke, Jr., and their three children, just a block down from her mother, where their children take piano lessons from her first piano teacher.
Academic Department: Department of Music
College: College of Arts and Sciences