DePaul University School of Music > Academics > Studios & Areas of Study > Tuba


The DePaul Tuba studio provides a practical education for those headed towards a career as a professional performance musician. Only a small number of students are accepted into the studio which better matches the reality of orchestra positions available for tubists. Admission is very competitive and students will experience a high level of playing, however the climate within the studio is very supportive. This reflects DePaul School of Music's philosophy of developing the whole person and respecting diverse approaches which has created a nurturing atmosphere for students and faculty.

Lessons in the studio are taught once a week. In addition to classes, students participate in Mr. Cooley's master classes on orchestral repertoire and solo literature.

In the spring, each student has the opportunity to perform a major solo in recital as well as in a tuba quartet which Mr. Cooley coaches.

There are 3 openings in the Tuba Studio for Fall 2016.


The Tuba Studio

    Tuba students at DePaul get more attention and more playing experience than in larger programs.  The basic philosophy underlying Mr. Cooley's studio is the concept of a continuous circle of teacher-student-performer that one enters at any point and is an ongoing cycle. Even at the height of his performing career, Mr. Cooley continued to study with Arnold Jacobs, a relationship that lasted 30 years. During the 1992-93 season Mr. Cooley played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was able to study more intensely with Mr. Jacobs, observing his teaching methods and approaches. The experience super-charged his own interest in teaching and that same year, he started teaching at DePaul.

    Many of the DePaul brass faculty studied with Arnold Jacobs which provides DePaul students with a consistency in the stream of a legendary master's lineage. DePaul University bestowed an honorary doctorate on Arnold Jacobs in 1995 and received his entire personal library upon his death.

    Floyd Cooley's knowledge of the physiological and psychological aspects of brass playing make him a destination teacher. His is the next best thing to Arnold Jacobs.

                                     - Dale Clevenger, retired principal horn, Chicago Symphony Orchestra 

    Student Accomplishments - Summer 2015

      Ben Darneille and David Nelson participated in the Aspen School of Music

      Past Student Performances

      Sonata for Violin - Cesar Franck
      Three Furies - James Grant
      Concertino, Op. 77 - Jan Koetsier
      Adagio and Allegro for Horn and Piano, Op. 70 - Robert Schumann
      Concerto for Bass Tuba - Ralph Vaughan Williams
      Horn Concerto No. 2 - Richard Strauss
      Three Romances - Robert Schumann
      Four Serious Songs - Johannes Brahms
      Winks n Jinks - Jim Self
        I remember that after one year of school, during summer break, I went back to listen to a recording I had made of myself preparing Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger for an audition, the year before I went to DePaul. My only means of recognizing the tuba player on the tape was the label with my name on it. After one year's time studying with Floyd Cooley, my playing had changed so much from a fundamental side and musicianship side, that I didn't recognize the player as myself.
                                       - Mike Roylance, Tuba, Boston Symphony Orchestra

        Alumni Accomplishments

          Since 1992, Chicago Civic Orchestra tuba players have been students of Floyd Cooley at DePaul and include Bill Adams, Brendon Lukin, Mike Roylance, Jerome Stover, Peter Link, William Russell, Matthew Lyon, Duncan Spry and David Nelson. 

          Former students of this studio have gone on to positions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic [Japan], US Navy Band, Royal Australian Air Force Band, Alabama Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Queensland Symphony Orchestra [Brisbane, Australia], Ball State University and Auckland Philharmonia [Australia].
          At DePaul, I developed the skills necessary to make the transition from student to professional. When choosing a school, one must seek the best combination of teacher and musical exposure. The pairing of insightful teaching and mentoring by Floyd Cooley and the renowned musical exposure in Chicago place DePaul at the top of the list!"
                                   - James Hicks, Principal Tuba, U.S. Navy Band, Washington D.C.

          Studying with Floyd Cooley at DePaul gave Thomas the mental and musical tools he needed to win an audition. Without his time at DePaul, Thomas would never have become a professional musician.
                      - Spoken of Thomas Alley, Tuba, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Brisbane, Australia