http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/newsnow/x1214499893/Memorial-music One highlight of Saturday’s music included a piece, “The Preacher’s Son,” especially written for the festival’s 10th anniversary by John Cooper, director the WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra. Al Sears was born in Macomb in 1910 to a local preacher. “She was very moved and touched by the commissioned piece,” Maakestad said of Sylvia Sears Cartwright’s response.
COOPER WINS Honorable Mention in the Billboard International Songwriting Competition July 8, 2009 - John Cooper was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Billboard International Songwriting Competition for his composition "Offertory" from the Baecker Jazz Worship Service. The annual international competition screened thousands of entries and awarded Cooper's entry "Offertory" an Honorable Mention.
National Award: The United States of America President's Volunteer Service Award - USA Freedom Corps As a member of the Peoria Heritage Ensemble, John Cooper received The President's Volunteer Service Award - USA Freedom Corps- presented by the President's Council on Service. The certificate reads, "In recognition and appreciation of your commitment to strengthening our Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service." A portion of the letter from the President's Council reads:
"This Award recognizes your dedication to volunteer service and signifies that you have served your community and your country with distinction. Through your volunteer efforts, you are demonstrating values that make our nation strong and you are helping to build a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility in America. By volunteering, you have joined a remarkable team that includes millions of Americans whose everyday acts of kindness and decency make our country a better place."
Cooper Awarded WIU President's Excellence in Service Community Involvement
Milligan Jazz Ensemble performs
Pulitzer Prize worthy composition
Baecker Jazz Worship in Johnson City Press
Baecker Jazz Worship on NPR-WIUM
Sunday, April 5, 2009 - Baecker Jazz Worship for Loaves and Fishes
2:30 pm St Paul Catholic Church Macomb, IL
7:00 pm Wesley United Methodist Church Macomb, IL
Milligan Jazz Ensemble to perform spring concert
Friday, June 6, 2008 @ 7:00 p.m. John Cooper Jazz Orchestra presented the Baecker Jazz Worship Service @ the 44th Annual Meeting of the Illinois Conference United Church of Christ.
Sunday, May 4, 2008 @11:00 a.m., St. Paul UCC of Pekin, IL continued its year-long observance of the 150th Anniversary of the organization of the congregation with the Baecker Jazz Worship Service. The John Cooper Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece big band under the direction of Dr. John Cooper, presented the commissioned piece in worship. Dr. Cooper is Director of Jazz Studies at Western Illinois University. Sharon Samuels Reed and Ayana Pankey were the featured soloists. Rev. Borden and Rev. Mushaney served as worship leaders. Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria, was in attendance and presented a recognition award for St. Paul's “monumental milestone.”
Read the featured article in the May 5, 2008 Pekin Daily Times, "Jazz Worship Draws Many to Church Service."
Look for Rev. John Buttrick's article in the UCC News Dec07/Jan08, Jazz Worship Service Becomes CD. "Watch for the release of this CD which had its beginnings in a meeting of the Western/Eastern Association planning committee meeting at the First Congregational UCC, Canton, IL. A whisper of the Spirit at that meeting has become a big band voice speaking through the United Church of Christ, the talent of Dr. John Cooper, and the commission of Garth Baecker. God is still speaking among us."
Announcement: The John Cooper Jazz Orchestra recording of The Baecker Jazz Worship Service was reviewed by Kevan Breitinger at Christian Music Central. Breitinger says "...I love jazz and couldn’t get enough of this intelligent composition." and ..."An emotive piano opens standout track “Communion (And Now You’re Gone)” before moving into fuller instrumentation. Thick horns lay down an evocative foundation which builds slowly into a warm crescendo of expressive awe."
John is a featured artist on Chris Steinmetz's Acoustic Chicago. See www.acoustic-chicago.com for information.