Cooper Honored With Establishment of Collection

Cooper Repertoire Announcement Fall 2021
Hal Cooper (left), professor emeritus of music at Arkansas Tech University, and Dr. Daniel A. Belongia (right), professor of music and director of bands at ATU, enjoy a laugh during the announcement of the Hal Cooper Repertoire Collection. Photo courtesy of Christian Amonson.

Instrumental music students at Arkansas Tech University will forevermore be guaranteed access to premium compositions that challenge and inspire them due to the establishment of the Hal Cooper Repertoire Collection in the ATU Department of Music.

The collection’s namesake served as director of bands at Arkansas Tech from 1979-2011. Cooper was named ATU professor emeritus of music in 2013 and he received the highest honor the university may bestow upon an individual — induction into the ATU Hall of Distinction — in 2017.

“Being honored by your peers and your past students is really quite special,” said Cooper moments after the announcement. “I am so humbled by and appreciative of the efforts in that regard. Thank you to Mr. (H.L.) Shepherd for the seed of getting this project going and thank you to the many contributors to the furtherance of the plan. I plan to contribute to the fund every year from now on, and I hope you will too.”

The announcement of the Hal Cooper Repertoire Collection was made by Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, ATU director of bands and professor of music, during a concert at Witherspoon Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 21.

“Mr. Cooper continues to be an invaluable mentor and friend to me and our entire program,” said Belongia. “Tech bands have been commissioning new music and working closely with world renowned composers since 1950, and have enjoyed relationships with Karel Husa, Vincent Persichetti, Francis McBeth and many others. We continue to pursue these projects today. The goal of the Cooper Repertoire Collection is to fund the purchase and creation of new music and projects such as this for the Arkansas Tech University Symphonic Wind Ensemble forever. It is our dream that the Cooper Collection will grow for all time. As it does, only more exciting and ambitious projects will become possible through its resources.”

Individuals with an interest in contributing toward the Hal Cooper Repertoire Collection through the ATU Foundation may contact Josh Clem, director of development in the ATU Division of Advancement, at (479) 498-6055 or

Gifts may be made online through the ATU Foundation’s secure giving site at