Anthony J. Cook studied library and information science at the University of Illinois and now works as a knowledge management analyst at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He sings gospel music and spiritual songs, and his gospel record, Where He Leads Me, is available online.
1. Music background
I never took any lessons, but I always sang in our church choir. Now I volunteer at Seasons Hospice, and I have been singing for the patients for about 10 years. I do encourage them to sing along, and you’d be amazed at how connected they are with the music. It is very life affirming for me.
2. The trumpet sound off
I played trumpet as a child, and I even took lessons. But in my senior year of high school, there was a class I wanted to take that was at the same time as band, so I ended up not taking band. This decision abruptly ended my trumpet playing.
3. Short and sweet
The ‘J’ in my name is just a middle initial. My father’s name is Jack, but my middle name isn’t Jack. It is just J period.
4. Higher ground
I love community events that bring people together to fundraise for worthy causes. I gravitate towards any opportunity to help others through music.
5. Abide with me
My heart is in those one-on-one singing events, which is why I love what I do for Seasons Hospice. It is just me, a patient, and my voice.
I sang Amazing Grace to my very first hospice patient that I went to visit. Afterwards she asked if we could have some quiet time because it was one of the most beautiful experiences of her life.
7. Favorite place to sing
The one-on-one hospice patient setting is my favorite. Many people think if you have a wonderful voice that you naturally aspire to be on stage, but for me it’s more about sharing the right song at the right time. That is on the top of my list.
8. It is well with my soul
I like to listen to soulful music, which is any music with meaningful messages and words.
I’ve been given a gift – the gift of song – and that gift is meant to be shared. I am blessed to be a blessing.
10. Where to find Anthony
- July 12 11:30 a.m. Music on the Patio at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center
- August 25 12 p.m. 2016 Tee It Up For the Troops at Willow Creek Golf Course
- September 25 4 p.m. The 5th Annual Heritage Classic 5K Run/Walk at Soldiers Memorial Field
- October 16 2:30 p.m. Mayo Clinic Celebration of Life Service at Philips Hall, Mayo Clinic