music for use

Music for Use is a music publisher that helps music program directors better engage with their students and their community by providing uniquely tailored compositions and arrangements for the field and for the stage. 

Most directors pick out of a music publisher’s catalog—Music for Use ditches the big catalog in favor of finely crafted, bespoke music published specifically for your ensemble. 

After it is performed, the commissioned work becomes available to the wider band community, prominently bearing the name of your ensemble to celebrate your part in creating new music. 

With Music for Use, you collaborate with a composer/arranger to:

  • find your band’s identity
  • fit music to the band, not the band to the music
  • make music that your audience will enjoy

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music for the field

Music for Use specializes in composition and arrangement for competitive marching bands. Past collaborators include Century High School (Hillsboro, OR), Liberty High School (Hillsboro, OR), and Roseburg High School (Roseburg, OR). 

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music for the stage

Music for Use works with concert bands of all sizes to create uniquely tailored works for public performance. Past clients include Lincoln College Preparatory Academy (Kansas City, MO). 


Cooper Ottum

 Photo:  Cara Strever

Cooper Ottum wants to make music useful. 

Cooper is a music educator, arranger, and composer who helps music program directors better engage with their students and their community by providing consulting for marching arts programs with a focus on creative yet practical solutions. 

Cooper’s marching band clients include Century High School (Hillsboro, OR, 2010–present), Liberty High School (Hillsboro, OR, 2013–present), Roseburg High School (Roseburg, OR, 2016–present), and O’Fallon Township High School (O’Fallon, IL, 2017–present). Cooper is especially keen to form long term creative partnerships with clients, acting as a guest clinician and on-site advisor in addition to program coordination and planning. 

Cooper studied composition at the University of Southern California and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and has been commissioned to write works for short film, band, and a variety of chamber ensembles. He leverages this background in concert music to emphasize a consistent focus on musical authenticity. 

Supporting strong musical communities for young people is important to Cooper. In addition to collaborating with marching band programs, he has worked with Hillsboro Parks and Recreation (Hillsboro, OR) and Beaverton School District (Beaverton, OR) on music education initiatives for K-12 students. In Kansas City, under the mentorship of Dr. Mara Gibson, Cooper created and coordinated the Music for Use Project, which established commissioning relationships between collegiate composers and local youth music programs.

Cooper is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Conducting and a professional teaching certification at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA, where is the graduate assistant for the CWU Bands.