Thomas Cook – New Executive Director of SOR

The String Orchestra of the Rockies has named a new executive director, Tom Cook. In this position, Cook will serve the SOR board of directors by preparing for concerts and coordinating publicity, fundraising, and communications. As a conductorless, collaborative ensemble, the String Orchestra of the Rockies provides the Missoula community with five classical concerts each year. The orchestra features professional musicians from across Montana and beyond and invites world-class guest artists to perform with them as well. Artistic Director Maria Larionoff lives in Seattle and has served as the concertmaster for the Seattle Symphony.

Tom Cook has been on the board of directors of SOR for the past two years and is well prepared to be the executive director. He served on the faculty of the University of Montana School of Music and, during those years, also held the positions of chair of the Department of Music, interim chair of the Department of Art, and assistant to the dean. He also directed the Two Valleys Stage, a performing arts series in the Seeley-Swan region. Upon retiring from UM, Cook was interim chair of the Division of Fine Arts at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. He holds undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Central College in Iowa, Drake University, and the University of Northern Colorado, respectively.

“Tom is exceptionally well-qualified to serve the String Orchestra of the Rockies,” says Royce Engstrom, president of the SOR board of directors. “In addition to his experience, he has tremendous energy, attention to detail, and a permanent smile on his face.” Maria Larionoff adds, “I am thrilled to welcome Tom Cook in his new role as our executive director and look forward to collaborating with him on our SOR season. His extensive expertise, enthusiasm and humor are remarkable and we are very lucky to have him taking on this position.”

Cook began his position as executive director this July. The String Orchestra of the Rockies recently launched its 2023-24 season with its free summer concert and will begin its regular season with a concert on September 17 featuring guest violist Cynthia Phelps from the New York Philharmonic.