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.
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
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.
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
- Dale Clevenger, retired principal horn, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Student Accomplishments - Summer 2018
Akshat Jain participated in the Aspen School of Music
Past Student Performances
Sonata for Violin - Cesar FranckThree Furies - James GrantConcertino, Op. 77 - Jan KoetsierAdagio and Allegro for Horn and Piano, Op. 70 - Robert SchumannConcerto for Bass Tuba - Ralph Vaughan WilliamsHorn Concerto No. 2 - Richard StraussThree Romances - Robert SchumannFour Serious Songs - Johannes Brahms
Winks n Jinks - Jim Self
- Mike Roylance, Tuba, Boston Symphony Orchestra
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
[New Zealand], Boise Philharmonic, US Naval Academy Band and Boston Brass.
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