• B.A. Trenton State, 1975
  • M.A. Music, Trenton State, 1981

Before COA

John Cooper has served as Professor of Music and Composer in Residence at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor since 1989. Previously he held positions at the University of Pennsylvania, and Lincoln University.

Scholarly and Creative Interests

John Cooper is Professor of Music, and Composer in Residence at the College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine. A jazz educator for 41 years, he has been adjudicating jazz festivals in 7 states regularly over the past 31 years. His newest book, “LINEAR TRANSITIONS”, is in use by high school and college jazz programs in 18 states, Canada, and Estonia.  Cooper is a former member of the Portland Jazz Orchestra, and has also composed numerous film scores for PBS and served as conductor of the Maine All State Jazz Band in 1995, and the Maine All State Jazz Honors Band in 1999 and the Maine All State Jazz Combo in 2005.

More About Me


With the Portland Jazz Orchestra


Cooper publishes his classical work exclusively with Dorn Publishing, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Saxophone Journal. Donald Sinta, world renowned classical saxophonist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, has commented on Cooper’s 1st Sonata for Alto Saxophone: “I love it. It’s from the heart and I identify with all of it.”

Cooper’s 1982 text on Jazz Improvisation, “Steps Ahead” has recently been reprinted by request for use by the Rowan University Jazz Program, under the direction of renowned saxophonist Denis DiBlasio.

Exhibitions and Performances

Cooper has performed regularly over the last 4 years with the Portland Jazz Orchestra. He also performs with the Maine Saxophone Quartet.


Created, developed and produces for distribution “LINEAR TRANSITIONS”, a Developmental Method for Improvisation Studies for High School and College Jazz Ensembles, as well as for individual students of Jazz Improvisation.
Jazz programs utilizing Linear Transitions include:
Greely High School
Old Town High School
Cape Elizabeth High School
South Portland High School
Westbrook High School
Fryeburg Academy
George Stevens Academy
Cheverus High School
Camden Hills High School
Hampden Academy
Blue Hill School
Spruce Mountain School
Maine Central Institute
Nokomis Regional High School
Ellsworth High School
Biddeford High School
Mattanawcook Academy
John Bapst High School
York High School
Waterville High School
Brewer High School
Mount Desert Island High School
Shead High School
Baxter Academy

Phillips Exeter Academy
Oyster River High School
Windham High School

Torrington High School
Guilford High School

Overbrook High School
Lenape High School
West Orange High School
Jackson Liberty High School

Brookline High School
Oakmont Regional High School
Reading Memorial High School
Sandwich High School
Norwood High School

Guilderland High School
Oswego High School

Charles W. Flanagan High School
Melbourne High School
Olympic Heights High School

Naperville Central High School
Wheeling High School
Tinley Park High School

Lovejoy High School
Denton High School

D.C. Everest High School

Air Academy High School

Sunset High School

Catalina Foothills High School

Moorpark High School

Wentachee High School

Rowan University, New Jersey
College of the Atlantic, Maine
New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico
Carthage College, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse
University of Maine at Orono
Capilano University, Vancouver, B.C
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, McAllen, Texas
Colby College, Waterville, Maine