Alfred W. Cochran is Professor of Music and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Music at Kansas State University; he is also a member of the American Ethnic Studies Program, the College of Arts and Science's Freshman Seminar (DAS100), and President of the Faculty Senate. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology (theory emphasis) and a Master of Music in Saxophone from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., a Bachelor of Music Education degree (magna cum laude) from The University of Memphis, and has studied at Carnegie-Mellon and Harvard Universities.
Prior to assuming duties at KSU in 1979, Cochran was band director and chair of the music department at High Point High School, Beltsville, Maryland. During a five-year stint in the U.S. Army, Cochran was a member of, and featured soloist with, the United States Army Studio Band (now the Jazz Ambassadors), the United States Army Field Band, and the United States Armed Forces Bicentennial Band, all of Washington, D.C.
Cochran teaches saxophone and various courses within the department, a number of which he designed and implemented. His principal teachers include George Etheridge, James Cobb, Gerald Welker, Donald Sinta, and Fred Hemke. He is a frequent performer and is a clinician for the Selmer Company, Elkhart, Indiana, and has commissioned a number of works for saxophone. He has performed in all fifty states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. His research interest is film music, especially that written by Aaron Copland, Gail Kubik, Virgil Thomson, and Leith Stevens; the subject of his doctoral dissertation was Copland's early film music oeuvre (Style, Structure, and Tonal Organization in the Early Film Scores of Aaron Copland). He is the author of over thirty publications which may be found in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, American National Biography, Notes, The Cue Sheet, Film Music II, Essays in American Music III, Indiana Theory Review, Jazz Educators Journal, NACWPI Journal, Saxophone Symposium, Schwann Opus, Jazz Research Papers (IAJE), Instrumentalist, KSU Arts and Sciences Magazine, Kansas Music Review, and Woodwind World/Brass and Percussion. He has presented twenty-four papers before regional, national, and international meetings of major scholarly organizations, including the American Musicological Society, College Music Society, Film Music Society, Music Library Association, Sonneck Society for American Music, International Association of Jazz Educators, and Kansas Music Educators.
He has lectured extensively throughout the United States and in Great Britain, having spoken at Oxford University, the University of Wales College of Cardiff, the University of Southampton, the University of York, the University of Hull, the University of Durham, the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Westminster, the Museum of Modern Art, the Eisenhower Center, and New York University. He has served on review panels for the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Indiana University Press, Longman, Inc., and the University of Kansas Press. Cochran is married to flutist Mary Lee Cochran and they have four children--Jenny Lee, Dory Ann, Laura Beth, and Tyler Alden.