Richard Scott Cohen

Richard CohenProfessor of Music
Department Chair

Phone: (231) 591-2484
Email: [email protected]
Office: MUS 103


D.M., Conducting, Northwestern University (1998)
M.M., Conducting, Northwestern University (1988)
B.S., Music Education, University of Illinois (1984)
B.A., Spanish, University of Illinois (1984)

Classes Taught

  • Music 160: Symphony Band
  • Music 221: Music Appreciation
  • Music 236: Music in Film
  • Music 262: Concert Band
  • Music 271: Chamber Orchestra


Scott Cohen is currently serving as Chair of the Department of Humanities. In addition, he is also Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Concert Ensembles at Ferris State University. He directs the Ferris State West Central Concert Band, the Ferris State Symphony Band, the Ferris State Community Summer Band and the Ferris State West Central Chamber Orchestra, and he also teaches courses in music appreciation. Dr. Cohen is a Board Member in the Rotary Club of Big Rapids, and he has partnered concerts with community organizations such as Mecosta County Medical Center Auxiliary, Festival of the Arts, Mecosta-Osceola Area Resource Center, Tuba Bach Chamber Music Series, Canadian Lakes Association, Big Rapids Old Jail and various veterans organizations.

He has also partnered holiday programs with local charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Project Starburst Food Pantry, Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army. Dr. Cohen was the 2012 recipient of the MCMC Foundation’s Northern Lights Award for the Arts, having served on the boards of directors of Art Works, the Festival of the Arts, the Tuba Bach Chamber Music Series, the City of Big Rapids Parks and Recreation Board, the Big Rapids Band Shell Development Committee and the Big Rapids Band Shell Programming Committee. A native of Chicago, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Illinois, a doctoral conducting graduate from Northwestern University and a Fulbright Scholar to Spain. Dr. Cohen also remains active as a conductor, trombonist, composer, music adjudicator, researcher, author and lecturer throughout North America, Europe and Asia.


Dr. Cohen's research has centered around musical ensembles in Spain, including the community band movement in the Valencia region, as well as the "Cobla" folk bands and the choral tradition in Catalonia.


  • "The Musical Society Community Bands of Valencia, Spain: A Global Study of Their Administration, Instrumentation, Repertoire and Performance Practices" (D.M. Dissertation, Northwestern University, 1997)
         * Awarded the Fritz Thelen Prize in 2000 and published in 2002 by the International Society for the Research and Promotion of Band Music (Austria)
  • El CAM de Bétera: Una Ruta Musical Histórica e Importante (2009)
  • Going Nuts with Tchaikovsky (2007)
  • Spring According to Vivaldi (2007)
  • Fanfare 125 (Musical Composition for Concert Band) (2010)
  • Blue September (Musical Composition for Jazz Ensemble with Bari Sax solo) (2001)
  • La Formación del Director de Banda en USA (2001)
  • Azcárraga, Pasodoble fallero (Poem) (1998)
  • Community Ensemble Music in the Catalan-Speaking Autonomies of Spain (1997)
  • La Música en la Fiesta de Las Fallas de Valencia (1995)
  • Azcárraga, pasodoble fallero (Musical Composition for Concert Band) (1994)
  • On the Nature of Musical Experience (Contributing Editor) (1992)
  • On Concepts and Classifications of Musical Instruments (Liner Notes) (1990)
  • Little Suite for Band, by Luis Serrano-Alarcón (Translation from Spanish) (2010)
  • Chamber Symphony No. 1, by José Suñer-Oriola (Translation from Spanish) (2009)
  • (Translation into Spanish) (2007)
  • Adversity and Creativity in the Royal College of Corpus Christi, by Dr. Greta Olson (Translation into Spanish) (2003)
  • Pasodobles y Música Festera Española (Translation from Spanish) (1995)

Social Media



Awards and Achievements

  • Lifetime Member Status, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (2005)
  • Fulbright Lecturer, Valencia, Spain (2001)
  • Fulbright Lecturer, Castellón, Spain (2001)
  • Fritz Thelen International Prize for Outstanding Band Research (IGEB/Austria) (2000)
  • Who’s Who in the World (1998)
  • Fulbright Research Scholar, Valencia, Spain (1993–1995)
  • Board Member, U. S. Treasurer, IGEB International Society for the Research and Promotion of Band Music (Austria) (2001–Present)
  • Board Member, Treasurer, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), North Central Division (2013–Present)
  • Board Member, U. S. Treasurer, Rotary Club of Big Rapids, Mich. (2015–Present)
  • Board Member, Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival, Big Rapids, Mich. (2006–Present)
  • Board Member, North American Catalan Society (NACS) (2007–2015)
  • Board Member, Chair, Parks and Recreation Board, City of Big Rapids, Mich. (2008–2012)
  • Board Member, Festival of the Arts, Ferris State University/Artworks of Big Rapids, Mich. (2007–2012)
  • Board Member, Artworks (Non-Profit Humanities and Arts Organization), Big Rapids, Mich. (2004–2011)
  • Board Member, WASBE Journal, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (2003–2008)
  • Board Member, Notes Magazine, Virginia Music Educators Association (1999–2002)