A House in Tune | By Kelly Twedell
● Published by Anonymous
Bob and Joy Cogswell’s Forest Lake home is one filled with music.
From the baby grand in the family room to the heirloom piano chair that once belonged to Joy’s grandmother, it’s a house designed for singing. Joy is a fixture in the Fayetteville music scene but many people may not realize that her husband, Fayetteville’s former city attorney, is a singer and trumpeter. Together, Bob and Joy Cogswell are raising a granddaughter, another generation of musical talent.
Musical roots run deep in Joy’s family – her grandmother, plus three of her aunts, were church organists. Joy herself directs the music academy at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, where she also plays piano, organizes the annual Singing Christmas Tree, leads Bible studies and mentors young people. She has even launched a new venture with Kidsville News to lead a troupe of 16 children who perform in and around the Carolinas. It’s no wonder Cogswell was one of the first inductees to the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame.
That love for music permeates her Mississippi-style house. The inspiration came from Beauvoir, the historic Biloxi home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. With its wide porches and gracious sitting areas, the Cogswell home offer views of a wooded back yard.
“I love porches for relaxing,” Joy says and laughs, “I just wish I had more time to use them!”
Last year, the Cogswells added a fireplace to the back porch in order to better enjoy it. Joy, a self-described fireplace nut, has even been known to turn down the heat just to enjoy her fireplaces, all three of them.
“My sanctuary spot is the porch off our family room,” she said. “We are raising our granddaughter, Paige, who is 9, and things get pretty wild and wooly much of the time. So, a little quiet time is wonderful!”
Throughout the years, the Cogswell family has acquired many treasured keepsakes and pieces of furniture rich in history. In the formal dining room, Joy keeps a beautiful cabinet stained dark and stacked full of sheet music and books that belonged to her paternal grandmother. Over the family room fireplace hangs a picture that once belonged to her maternal grandmother and depicts a peaceful river scene, reminding Joy of her Mississippi roots. A quilt given to her parents as a wedding gift in 1939 is showcased on a wall leading to her downstairs bedroom and is in pristine condition.
It’s a seamless transition as old meets new. The Cogswells updated their kitchen almost two years ago, opening it up to into the family room for a larger feel. Joy kept her original wood cabinets but gave them fresh life with a coat of warm sage paint finished with a glaze, lending a custom look.
As their family has changed and adapted, so has their home. In 1996, the Cogswells added a small apartment for Joy’s mother. It allowed family members to better care for her and keep her a part of their daily lives. After her death in 2005, the Cogswells reworked the apartment into an entertainment area where the family enjoys spending quality time playing pool or Paige’s Wii video games.
It’s been home for 22 years. “As with any home, the work never stops,” Joy says.
And the Cogswells continue to work tirelessly in their community. When Bob retired after 25 years as city attorney, he took a new job as director of human resources at Campbell University. Joy is not just director of Snyder’s music academy, she oversees everything from singing toddlers enrolled in Kindermusik to the musicians who make the Singing Christmas Tree a Fayetteville tradition.
For this family, the music plays on.