Dr. Erin Cooper Watson - Drum Major
A native of Maryland, Erin Cooper Watson is the Assistant Director of University Bands at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In this position, Dr. Cooper assists with the Marching Tar Heels and directs the Women’s Basketball Pep Band. She also directs the Symphony Band and teaches music education courses.
Prior to arriving in Chapel Hill, Dr. Cooper was the Director of Bands at Central Connecticut State University, Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Missouri, and the Director of Bands and Applied Flute Instructor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. During these appointments, she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music education, conducing, wind literature, marching band techniques, and flute pedagogy. Cooper earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting with a secondary concentration in Flute Performance from the University of Alabama. While there, she also served as Assistant Conductor of the Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra. Dr. Cooper also enjoyed a career as a public high school teacher for five years in both Florida and Maryland. She received her Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting Performance degree from the University of Delaware and her Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree (Magna Cum Laude) from James Madison University.
For the past twenty years, Dr. Cooper has spent her summers teaching at the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. She travels around the country each summer teaching marching, conducting, and leadership skills to high school students. Dr. Cooper has professional affiliations with the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda (National Honor Society for Musicians), honorary member and sponsor of the UNC Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma (National Honorary Band Service Sorority), and is a Life Member of Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Service Fraternity). Dr. Cooper resides in Sanford, North Carolina with her husband and their four cats.