DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Life Events > In memoriam: Floyd Cooley, recently retired School of Music faculty member

In memoriam: Floyd Cooley, recently retired School of Music faculty member

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It is with sadness we have learned of the death of Floyd Cooley, a recently retired member of the School of Music. He died on Nov. 25 after a serious illness. He was 74. 
Floyd Cooley

Cooley was more than the heart of the tuba program; his contributions to the school were enormous. He was instrumental in bringing recognition and renown to DePaul's brass program, demonstrating a level of excellence that inspired his students and colleagues. His influence continues to resonate throughout the brass studies areas following his retirement from teaching in June 2022 after 30 years of excellent service to the DePaul community. 
A native of Iowa, Cooley was the son of a tuba player and grew up in a home full of music. He spent one year at Kansas University before receiving a performer's certificate from Indiana University in 1969. 

Cooley was a nationally and internationally known tubist, appearing throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan as a soloist, clinician, educator and member of the San Francisco Symphony and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. When he joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1969, Cooley was the youngest tuba player in any major orchestra in the U.S. He participated in the Grand Teton Music Festival for more than 25 years. He also performed on the Visiting Artist Series in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois for years, playing in schools and festivals for more than 15,000 people.  
After his decades-long career with the San Francisco Symphony, he turned to teaching, joining DePaul's School of Music in 1992. His dedication to teaching and preparing students for a professional life in music could be seen in innumerable ways. He taught tuba, producing many highly successful musicians, and coached brass players through his pedagogy, orchestral repertoire and concepts classes. His course on studio teaching not only gave students strategies for developing a private teaching practice, but also provided them with detailed information and guidance on the art of teaching and entrepreneurship, making it one of the most popular courses in the performance area. 

Cooley's influence on countless tuba students will be felt for generations in ensembles worldwide.​