First Lady Sirgourney Cook

Sirgourney Cook, a professional opera singer and educator, is a Chicago, IL native. In 2010, she earned a Bachelor of Music Degree and a minor in Philosophy from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Sirgourney completed her graduate education at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA in May of 2016; where for two years she was a Presidential Scholar and earned a Master of Music Degree in Opera Performance. She is a student of the late world-renowned baritone Robert Honeysucker.

Prior to pursuing graduate education, for more than three years, Sirgourney toured as the soprano background vocalist for Oscar and Grammy Award Winning actress and recording artist, Jennifer Hudson, singing on national and international events such as President Barack Obama’s 50th Birthday Celebration and Second Campaign Party, the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, and most recently, The Grammy Academy’s 2019 Tribute to Aretha Franklin. Sirgourney was the featured soloist in Duke Ellington’s “Concerts of Sacred Music” conducted by Ellington’s protégé, Maestro Randall Keith Horton, at Boston University’s 2017 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Commemoration.

Passionate about arts education and accessibility, from 2014-2016, Sirgourney served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the David A. Ellis Elementary School in Roxbury, MA in partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College and Boston Public Schools. She also served as the Performing Arts Teacher for grades 5-8 at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School of Dorchester, MA. Sirgourney was cast as a handmaid in The Boston Lyric Opera’s 2019 production of Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale. In 2017, Sirgourney performed the role of Aphrodite in the world premiere of the opera Triangle, composed by Tony Solitro with the Boston Opera Collaborative. In addition, in 2017, she also debuted her one-woman show, What Am I Doing Here?, at the Central Square Theatre, in Cambridge, MA, as an Artist-in-Residence with The Boston Opera Collaborative of which she was a member for two years. In 2018, she performed the principal role, Cora (Nat Turner’s wife), in the world premiere of the musical production, Brother Nat written by Liana and Jabari Asim and composed by Allyssa Jones at the Paramount Theatre in Boston, MA. Sirgourney made her debut with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in their 2019 Summer season with Dvorak’s “Song to the  Moon” from the opera Rusalka. As an opera singer, educator, and administrator she continues to use the arts as an avenue to inspire, educate and advocate for underprivileged youth.

Sirgourney serves as the newly appointed Executive Director of the King Urban Life Center on Buffalo, NY’s east side. She is grateful to share in her life’s walk with her best friend and husband the Rev. Julian Armand Cook, an accomplished pastor and academician.