The student news site of Thomas Worthington High School


The student news site of Thomas Worthington High School


The student news site of Thomas Worthington High School


This image is representing a senior powered class, empty due to Senioritis.
Are we there yet?
April 12, 2024
Dresses lined up to be tried on in preparation for Prom 24
Prom '24
April 3, 2024

Just a Kid from Worthington: David Cook’s Musical Success

David Cook is the person we all want to be when we grow up. He is talented, distinguished, and successful, but most importantly he is an example of what happens when you put in the work and follow your dreams.

Musician, music producer, and music director for Taylor Swift, winner of the 2023 Album of the Year, Cook is also a graduate of Thomas Worthington High School, class of 1993. During winter break Cook sat down with the TWHSNews staff to discuss his experience growing up in Worthington and his life beyond these halls.

Although he has come far, he credits his success to both his experiences growing up and to his parents, specifically his mom, Janice Cook. Through her influence, he has never known anything but music. 

“She was my teacher from age 3 playing piano which is insanely early but it’s all I remember. I mean I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t playing piano,” Cook said.

This passion continued into his high school years. Cook was involved in a jazz band and accompanied some musicals during his time at Thomas Worthington.

 “I got a really good full music education at Thomas as well with theory and ear training and being able to read music and hear music and interpret in a way that other musicians don’t get those experiences,” Cook reflects.

Though his success isn’t just thanks to his musical inclination, Cook believes that his teachers he had throughout his time in high school definitely influenced his success. During his senior year when deciding what he wanted to do with his future in school he was eventually led to The University of Michigan where he studied music and journalism simultaneously. 

“I got into the music school at Michigan so I was studying music,” Cook continued. “It was kinda a question on how much effort I was going to put on something else so music was the focus. I just wasn’t sure if it was going to be my career but academically that was my focus. I have 0 regrets about doing music for a living.” 

Once Cook had settled into Michigan for a few years, he was met with an ultimatum of choosing his future career. 

“My junior year in my 2nd semester at Michigan it was January,” Cook said. “It was freezing cold snowing outside. I went to meet with my counselor. She said it’s kind of time for you to decide if you want to do music or journalism because there’s not a dedicated double major for both.” 

When faced with the choice between two subjects of his interest, Cook needed some time to think about it. His counselor continued by saying, “You’re going to need to get two separate degrees and it’s going to take you a minimum of 6 years as an undergraduate. There’s no easy path for it.”

Cook left the meeting stuck between two options, taking the risk to pursue his music career or stability with his second interest in journalism. Sure enough, a few hours later that same day, he was met with a sign of what he should choose to do with his career. Cook received a phone call around 5pm that Friday evening from the head of the Jazz Department and they explained to him that someone had reached out to them about if they knew a potential keyboard player for a tour he is going on and the department recommended Cook for the role. About 5 minutes later his phone rang and it was the person who reached out to the Jazz Department, Jerald Daemyon. 

“He was a smooth Jazz violinist from Detroit and he was signed to GRP which was a big Jazz label at the time and he had just put out a record,”Cook explained. Damien told Cook that he was going on a promotional tour to promote a few new songs from the album. Bursting with excitement, Cook agreed to play the keyboard for his tour.

Shortly after his call with Damien, it was time for him to hit the ground running.

 “I got on stage playing the same stuff I played in the practice room and like everybody was going nuts, and it was all the players for the Miami Heat were there, half the Miami Dolphins with Dan Marino and all these guys were there,” Cook reminisces. “It was this whole scene, everybody came to see him.”

The following year Cook was on tour with In-Sync, and as he grew as a musician, through his experiences Cook has learned how to support his colleagues and enjoys doing so. 

“I’ve always enjoyed collaborating, that’s the thing. Put titles aside, everyone on an equal playing field, we’re all just there to create. That’s when it’s most enjoyable, ” Cook explained.

The year of 2023 was a big success for the music industry, especially for Cooks’ and his colleague, Taylor Swift, when “The Eras Tour” started in March in Glendale Arizona, at State Farm Stadium. 

“2023 just on its own was pretty amazing,” Cook reflects. “Playing a small part in the Eras Tour, there’s never been anything like it. Just being able to have the opportunity to work on it is amazing, I also played at Carnegie Hall for the first time in 2023.”

Being in the spotlight comes with challenges. People may not like you or your ideas, but the ability to work with others collaboratively is a major marker of success. David Cook considers himself incredibly lucky, but his dedication to his craft cannot be understated. However, the reality is that his character is the secret ingredient that, when combined with his innate talent, has opened doors for him from the halls of Thomas Worthington High School to the stage, performing in front of tens of thousands of people. It is when talent and character combine that success is made. 

“I hope to be respected by the people I respect. And I think that’s something that has motivated me from the beginning with music but that transfers to life and everything else.”

View Comments (5)
More to Discover

Comments (5)

All TWHS NEWS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • N

    Nick ParrishMar 6, 2024 at 10:34 am

    Very cool! I remember him well from the trombone section in the TWHS band back in the day. He was talented and had a dynamic personality. I’m not at all surprised at his successes

  • S

    Shirley CraigFeb 27, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    You are an amazing talent along with your wife & Now your sweet daughter is following in your footsteps. I graduated from Brewer High School with your mother-in-law, Kande. Great family. Oh & also simply adore Taylor Swift. Wishing you continued success, health & happiness.

  • J

    Jane TorreFeb 27, 2024 at 7:12 pm

    Very well written article.

  • G

    [email protected]Feb 27, 2024 at 9:29 am

    Wow, Kande thanks for sharing this wonderful article about your son in law! I’m proud for the both of you! He is blessed with Hod given talent and thanks yo his Mom for directing him during his early years of life! He has been a blessing for many! God bless him and your family for a wonderful blessing from God! Blessings!

  • K

    Kathy YoungFeb 27, 2024 at 6:58 am

    David, what an amazing life! Your musical talent is absolutely remarkable but, for me, when I read this article and it talks about your “character” that is what I’m most impressed with. Such success, with such grace and humility. I’m proud to say I knew you as a little boy down the street, playing with our two boys. Proud to be friends of your mother too! She’s an amazing woman.