Michael Cotten (b. 1994) holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from the University of Kentucky where he studied with Dr. Jason Dovel on trumpet. His compositional instruction has been eclectic, having studied with Robert Jeter at UK in addition to Boston performer/composer Ben Levin and San Fransisco based producer Underbelly. Cotten's works have been performed at multiple conferences (Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, International Trumpet Guild, State Conferences) and by a variety of groups (U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" Brass Quintet, Fillmore Wind Band). Exploring multiple mediums, Cotten has released the trumpet lofi hiphop EP "This Place" (2020); writes music for the professional Youtuber Knowing Better, including their Spotify release under the same name; and wrote instrumental parts for a live performance of "Puppy Love" by Ouiwey Collins, son of famous bassist Bootsy Collins.
Michael won the 2016 KMEA (Kentucky) College Composition Contest with his piece Wayfarer’s Hymn and in 2018 received a Cincinnati Warm 98.5 Teacher Award by an anonymous nomination from one of his band parents for "not just teaching [my student] to succeed but teaching her the importance of how to fail." Michael is also active in arranging for Marching Band where his arrangements have garnered awards at the state and national level, as well as being featured at the 2015 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago.
Cotten currently resides with his wonderful wife (an intelligent, beautiful biomedical engineer currently studying to be a pharmacist), 4 dogs, and 4 chickens in Fayetteville, Arkansas where he is the band director for Ramay Jr. High School. Formerly he was the band director for Hector Public Schools in Hector, AR; RA Jones Middle School in Florence, KY; and La Salle High School in Cincinnati, OH. In addition to music, Michael is also the president of the Arkansas Scholastic Disc Golf Association. An organization which runs the official scholastic competitive disc league for Arkansas and is the first of its kind for the United States.