Livingstone graduate comes home to launch book

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 20, 2023

SALISBURY — A Livingstone College graduate is returning to campus on Sunday to launch a book tour.

Cockerham’s book, “Looking: Past, Present and Future,” will add a new notch to the established composer’s belt as an author.

The longtime music composer and Wilkesboro native felt his life-long love of music was a story that needed to be shared. His debut book is a collection of stories told from a creative writer’s viewpoint, and “Looking” refers to one of Cockerham’s albums.

“The lyrics from the album start the book,” Cockerham said. “When I start explaining the lyrics to people, many times, it gains the interest of the people who are listening. I decided to go ahead and expand on those stories.”

The book is not Cockerham’s first creative transformation of the album. Songs taken from “Looking” have also been turned into stage production. String and piano introduce a choir singing Cockerham’s original composition, “Seasons,” while an orchestra, storytelling, dramatic presentations and instrumental music bring the album to life on stage.

Inspired by the music program at his alma mater, his book release coincides with Livingstone College’s All Steinway School initiative music program aimed to bring funding, awareness and support. The initiative aims to equip every classroom with Steinway pianos so that students can use them to practice and learn. Portions of the proceeds from the book launch will benefit this project.

“I got such a firm foundation from Livingstone,” Cockerham said. “The music department was outstanding for it to be such a small school. Livingstone is a school built on self-reliance. I also wanted part of the proceeds from ticket sales to go to the music department at Livingstone.”

“Looking” was released in 2021. It is a multi-generational, multi-genre collection of social-conscious music featuring multiple industry personalities, including PJ Morton, Algebra Blessett and Regina Belle, in a first-time collaboration with the newly-formed record label The Dirty Glasses, a partnership formed with his son, Brian Cockerham and Ethan Gouldbourne.

To purchase tickets for the “Looking” experience or to order copies of the book, visit, or you may purchase tickets at the door.