Colburn School Appoints Susan Cook as Dean of the Community School of Performing Arts; and Annie Wickert as Vice President of Advancement

Colburn School Appoints Susan Cook as Dean of the Community School of Performing Arts; and

Annie Wickert as Vice President of Advancement


(Tuesday, September 4, Los Angeles) – Sel Kardan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Colburn School, is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Cook as Dean of the Community School of Performing Arts, and Annie Wickert as Vice President of Advancement.


Sel Kardan said, “Both Susan and Annie bring exceptional expertise, creativity and insight to their positions, as well as a passion for the performing arts and education. As we currently celebrate our 20th season on Grand Avenue, and move towards a significant campus expansion, Susan and Annie’s leadership will help us usher in a new and exciting chapter in Colburn School’s history.”


Cook began her career in music education as a saxophone instructor in Chicago while finishing her Master of Music at Northwestern University, and she says the move to school administration happened “organically.” She served on the faculty of DePaul University, and the Merit School of Music, where she embraced more responsibilities and new positions until she was running Merit’s outreach program.

After holding positions at the Merit School of Music, Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago, and Midwest Young Artists, she returned to her native Canada to serve as Dean of the Royal Conservatory School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. There, she championed new programs and camps, and engaged the community through big events and open communication.


Susan Cook said, “I am thrilled to join the Colburn School as Dean of the Community School of Performing Arts. This is a remarkable opportunity to further my passion for music education, and make a lasting difference in the lives of today’s young artists through Colburn School’s exceptional programs.”


Wickert is a Southern California native with a track record of success in the arts, education, and

philanthropy. At Colburn, she manages all aspects of the School’s annual, major gift, planned giving and

endowment campaigns, as well as special events. Prior to joining Colburn, Wickert served as a member of the senior leadership team at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society where she held the position of Director of Partnerships and External Relations. Prior to Stanford, Wickert was the Institutional Advancement Director at Music@Menlo, a premier summer music festival and educational program in Atherton, California. Wickert has also held advancement positions at the Harvard Art Museums and the San Diego Museum of Man. Annie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art history from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University. She completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.


Annie Wickert said, “It is a very exciting time to join the Colburn School, especially with programmatic and campus expansion activities on the horizon, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity. Together with Colburn School’s terrific leadership team, we will continue to deepen local and national philanthropic partnerships to build on the incredible legacy of this institution.”


Please click here to read Susan Cook’s full bio.

Please click here to reach Annie Wickert’s full bio.


About the Colburn School

The Colburn School comprises four academic units united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music and dance should have access to top-level instruction.

Units of the School are:

  • the degree-granting Conservatory of Music, a preeminent training ground for professional musicians
  • The Music Academy, a pre-college program preparing musicians to study at top conservatories
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, a comprehensive dance program including the elite pre-professional Dance Academy
  • The Community School of Performing Arts, offering a graded curriculum of private lessons and group instruction in music performance, appreciation, and theory for everyone, from the youngest children to adults

Together, these units provide performing arts instruction to more than 2,000 students from around the world, with a renowned artist faculty who serve as invaluable mentors guiding the students’ artistic development.


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