AZUSA, Calif. — Azusa resident Alexander Koops, DMA, Azusa Pacific University director of undergraduate music education, received a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award for Spring 2012.

Koops’ Fulbright Scholar grant allows him to lecture and teach music education and wind band conducting at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, Latvia for six months beginning in January 2012.

While abroad, Koops will also offer lessons in French horn performance at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level. He will give individual instruction, as well as working with group performance. In addition, Koops’ duties include band conducting and ear training.

“I am excited about learning how the music education system works in Latvia and seeing how that might change my teaching here in the United States,” explains Koops. “I am also looking forward to teaching in their music academy and bringing what I can to help them out. I grew up as a missionary kid in Nigeria and I love to travel and learn from other cultures, so receiving the Fulbright award with the opportunity to travel to a country I’ve never been to is very exciting. I recently completed 10 years at APU, so it was a good time in my career to have a chance to do something a little different.”

Koops is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people – 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States – with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Koops holds a DMA in Music Education from the University of Southern California, with focus on theory, orchestral conducting, and horn performance. He completed his B.A. in Music Education from Calvin College and his M.M. in Wind Conducting from the University of Colorado. Koops joined the music faculty at Azusa Pacific University in August 2001 and is currently director of undergraduate music education, associate director of bands, and director of the Azusa Conservatory of Music.