Composer Cooper Alexander Minnis, (born November 22, 1992, St. Louis, Missouri) began studying music at the age of ten playing the trumpet. He soon picked up the tuba as his primary instrument. During his senior year in high school, Cooper was selected to play principal tuba in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra under the direction of Ward Stare. In addition to the tuba, Cooper is self-taught on the trombone, euphonium, French horn, and flute.
A passion for music composition began during middle school when, at the age of 12, he premiered his first work for wind ensemble. Throughout his high school years, Cooper remained active in writing music. As a freshman, he was selected to compose his school’s first original fight song to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding.
At George Mason University, Cooper studied classical tuba performance for three years under Andrew Hitz, formerly of the Boston Brass, and has had the pleasure of working with St. Louis area performers and educators such as Hiram Martin, Jim Martin, Timothy Myers, and Michael Saunders and has performed with his school’s symphony orchestra, wind symphony, low brass ensemble, and contemporary music ensemble.
Collegiate level composition study was received from the American composer/conductor, Dr. Mark Camphouse. Under his instruction, Cooper gained experience writing for a wide variety of performing forces including, but not limited to, symphony orchestra and band, instrumental chamber ensembles, voice and percussion. Music continues to be Cooper's primary means of communication with the world, and believes in its power to improve the human condition.