On being the beat of the band, and how I got here

Hey cooperthepeeps!  It’s your friendly neighborhood Will coming at you today on my background and how I came to be involved in one of the biggest blessings of my life.


I started playing percussion in the 7th grade. I was sitting in my Art class and was thinking to myself “Man, why am I even in this class? I have no interest in this. I’d rather be in the band.”  So, that afternoon, I went to the bandroom and talked to the band director about being involved, and what I would have to do to audition. He told me to come back the next day, and we would see what I was naturally good at. The next day I came back and tried out all kinds of instruments. Come to find out, I was absolutely terrible at everything except percussion. I was one of the few kids who play quarter notes with my foot and play various rhythms with my hands. And thus, my love affair with percussion was born.

I played all kinds of percussion instruments throughout middle and high school, and I loved it so much that I wanted to continue my musical career into college. When my senior year of high school came,  I decided that The University of Tennessee at Martin was where I wanted to continue my education because of the phenomenal percussion professor, Dr. Julie Hill, and I had heard nothing but wonderful things about her and her program. Before I even had the chance to back out, I emailed Dr. Hill and scheduled an audition.  I was incredibly nervous about this decision, almost to the point that on the day of my audition, I seriously contemplated staying home and not auditioning, because I just knew I would never be good enough to be a music major. On the day of the audition, I woke up with a sense of peace about my future. I was incredibly calm and collected on my drive to Martin, despite my mother freaking out that I had forgotten something.

I got to my audition, and everything went great. God was with me the whole time, and it lead to by involvement in one of the most talented undergraduate percussion ensembles in the States.

To fast forward a few years, I was a senior at UTM, playing drums/percussion every day at school, and I get an email from the music minister of West Jackson Baptist Church, asking me to come play drumset one Sunday because their normal drummer was going to be out of town that weekend. I went and played that Sunday, which went better than I was expecting. This lead to me playing every Sunday, which was a blessing in and of itself, because I hadn’t been in church consistently in about 3 years.

West Jackson started having two services at church, and the pastor asked me if I would be interested in playing with the band, to which I said “Duh, I would absolutely love to!” This is actually where I met ya boy Cooper. Time goes by, and eventually, Coop asked me to drum for him. At first, I had to turn him down because I was working second shift at the hospital. I was super bummed out about this because I had heard his music, loved it, and I really wanted to be involved, but given my work schedule, it was going to be near impossible for me to make it work. God had a different plan for us! My boss called me the next day, offering me a position to work on first shift, which was a huge surprise, and it mean that I could actually play music! Cooper was actually the first person I called and told about my new shift.

I have been playing with Coopertheband for almost a year now, and I couldn’t be happier about where I am in life. The band has been a huge blessing on me. They have become some of my very best friends, and all of them are wonderful musicians. This past year has taught me a ton about who I am as a person, as a friend, and as a band member. It has taught me that as a person, I love who I have become outside of school. I love the fact that I have a passion for making music with friends who have the same goals as I do. I’ve learned that true friends will do anything to make sure you know you are loved and appreciated, and I’ve learned that being the beat and the tempo of the band is very important, and it requires me to always be on my game and be ready for practices/shows.

2015 was a great year for me and for Coopertheband, and 2016 is already shaping up to be even better!

Thanks for even reading this. I have never blogged before, and I know I’m terrible at it. So feel free to act like this is the most inspiring thing you’ve read! 😉







Be on the lookout for new CTB songs, merch, and shows coming your way very soon!!!

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