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Music for Use Project: Lincoln College Preparatory Academy (Bands)

  • Lincoln College Preparatory Academy 2111 Woodland Ave Kansas City, MO, 64108 United States (map)

Come hear the premiere of Murmurations by Cooper Ottum and Prismatic Perceptions by Charles Luttrell, Music for Use Project composers, performed by Lincoln College Preparatory Academy Bands.

About the music:

Prismatic Perceptions for Band (2015)

by Charles Luttrell

A triangular prism, by definition, is a geometric prism with triangles as the base. While typically shown as a solid 3D object, a popular optical illusion starts by taking one of these objects and drawing a transparent version of it. When transparent, the brain is able to create different interpretations of the shape: at one moment, it might seem to be slanting down and away from you — at the next moment, it might seem to be slanting down and towards you. This shift in perception is the driving force behind the piece.

Murmurations for small band (2015)

by Cooper Ottum

Murmurations is a short piece for band that evokes the evening flock formations of European Starlings. The starlings come together in the thousands to make fantastic flowing shapes in the sky before they nest for the night. These formations are called “murmurations,” and the starlings are able to create them by maintaining a certain distance between each individual, and then simply following the leaders of the flock. 

With that flock sensibility in mind, this piece asks members of the band to be leaders and followers, with many phrases structured by cumulative processes and imitative counterpoint.

About the Composers:

Charles Luttrell (b. 1992) is a composer and saxophonist from Lewisville, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition from the West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) School of Music, and in August 2014 he began working on his Master's in Music Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music, where he currently studies with James Mobberley. Past instructors in composition include Zhou Long and BJ Brooks. Past instructors in saxophone include Don Lefevre and Daniel Loudenback.

At WTAMU, Charles's music was featured in the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Royal Brantley Composition Competition (Quartet No. 1 - first prize), the Spring 2014 Special Student Recital (Rippling Wind), and the WTAMU Chamber Music Camp Faculty Recital (Rippling Wind). As a saxophonist at WT, he was featured as a soloist on the Spring 2011 Special Student Recital; he performed as part of the WT Symphonic Band at TMEA and CBDNA in 2012; he held the principal saxophone chair in the WT Symphony Orchestra for their 2013 performance of Rhapsody In Blue; and he held the principal saxophone chair in the WT Symphonic Band for two years (2012-2014). Most recently, Charles was a finalist in the UWRF Composition Workshop & Competition for his Woodwind Quintet No. 1 “Tragic,” where he also gave a presentation on Messiaen's modes of limited transposition and their various uses for composers.

Charles currently lives in Kansas City with his dog, Ozzie the Aussie. He is working on multiple commissions for soloists and ensembles across the country, and remains an active saxophonist and teacher. In his free time, he moonlights as a freelance writer, and in his dreams, days have enough hours to commit to everything. Charles can be reached at


Cooper Ottum (b. 1990) is a composer from Beaverton, Oregon. Through his compositional practice, Cooper strives to capture emotional subtlety, and to approach music as a distinctly human art form. Cooper studies composition at the University of Missouri - Kansas City with Chen Yi, and plans to graduate in May 2015 with a degree of Master of Music. Cooper recieved a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from University of Southern California in 2012. Previous instructors include Paul RudyZhou LongJames MobberleyDonald CrockettFrank Ticheli, and Stephen Hartke. At USC, Cooper was honored with the Composition Department Award (2012) and with the Peter David Faith Endowed Award in Composition (2012). 

Cooper's concert music has been performed throughout United States and his music for motion picture has been heard accompanying short films at various festivals. In addition, his work for marching band has been heard throughout Oregon and Washington, performed for competition in the Northwest Marching Band Circuit. Cooper has also worked with Hillsboro Parks and Recreation, the Century High School Marching Band, and the Liberty High School Marching Band to make compositions and arrangements that enrich youth music education programs.

In fall 2014, Cooper launched the pilot season of the Music for Use Project, an effort to create new commissioning relationships between collegiate student composers and youth music ensembles.