Scholar-singer to receive honor from Obama

May 14, 2009 Next month, he's going to Washington where he will be recognized for his academic and artistic success.

Julian Cook, 18, a student at William Jones Prep is a base baritone who has been singing since he was four years old. He loves opera and is comfortable singing in Italian and German.

"I love opera and now that I can do it, I would love to for the rest of my life," said Julian Cook, presidential scholar.

Cook was just recently recognized as a presidential scholar. He is one of seven students in the country who has excelled academically and in the arts as a level one winner and will be performing at the Kennedy Center in June. He will meet President Obama and receive his medal.

"When I was asked to sing the national anthem, so not only will I be performing, but I'll be singing the national anthem there, too. I'm shaking in my boots, but I know I'll be able to do it," said Cook.

"He's one of only two vocalists in the country. That's less than 2 percent in the nation and he's one of them, and I just feel so gratified to have him as my student," said Gayle Klopack, Jones Prep.

This young artist is comfortable singing all types of music. He is also the senior class president and past sophomore and junior class president. On Thursday night, he will perform in the spring concert at the school.

Cook say he has been raised by his mother who is his best cheerleader. In the fall he will be going to college in New York to study music and theology.

"I want to sing for a career and i also want to pastor a church for a career," said Cook.

His teacher says he is a true artist who shines in everything he does.

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