While earning his Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and Composition in 2009 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Derek Cooper studied with American Prix de Rome winner Daniel Perlongo while also taking lessons with Jack Stamp, Christopher Marshal, and Richard Danielpour. Derek continued to study with Richard Danielpour, earning his Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music in composition in 2014. In the Fall of 2014, he returned to Manhattan School of Music to begin his doctoral studies under Dr. Reiko Fueting as a doctoral teaching fellow.
Derek's music has been performed by groups throughout North America including Contemporaneous, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania wind ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and Blueshift Ensemble. His orchestral work Daybreak was recently awarded an honorable mention from the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
Derek currently teaches theory and ear training at Manhattan School of Music, as well as composition at the school’s summer program. In 2017, Derek took part in a two-week residency with Crosstown Arts in Memphis, TN, participated in the Pressure Waves Composer Workshop in Winnipeg, Canada with Groundswell, and taught during a week long educational residency with the Susquehannock School District in Glen Rock, PA. His music is published by Knightwind Music.