Instrument: E-flat Tuba
Member Since: 2019
Mentors & Musical Heroes: Professor Mark Camphouse of George Mason University, and Professor Andrew Hitz- former tuba instructor at George Mason University, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Igor Stravinsky.
Favorite Brass Band Piece: Vitae Aeternum
Cooper Minnis was born and raised in Saint Louis, MO. He began playing brass instruments at the age of ten and began composing and arranging music at the age of twelve. As a freshman in high school Cooper won a competition for writing the first original fight song entitled “Greyhound Pride” for Clayton High School in honor of its centennial anniversary. Three years later he was selected as principal tuba for the 2010-2011 season of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
In 2011 Cooper matriculated to George Mason University where he studied composition with Mark Camphouse and tuba performance with Andrew Hitz. Here, Cooper wrote and premiered many different works for a variety of ensembles including symphonic band, symphony orchestra, woodwind quartet, brass quartet, string quartet, and voice. Cooper graduated Magna Cum Laude. In 2014, Cooper won first place in the Webster University Young Composer's Competition for his woodwind quartet “Giggles,” and in 2015 received honorable mention in the Claude T. Smith Band Composition Contest for his work, “The Darkest Hour.” Cooper also received a full scholarship to participate in the 2015 NYU/ASCAP Summer Film Scoring Workshop.
Recent accomplishments include completing three books entitled “The Art of Melody” which contain thirteen 19th and 20th century art song transcriptions for tuba, euphonium, trumpet, and piano accompaniment. In 2017 these books were selected for the Missouri State High School Activities Association's (MSHSAA) Prescribed Music List. These books along with several of his other compositions and arrangements are self-published. Cooper maintains his love for low brass by teaching private lessons regularly.