McCoppin studied conducting with Lovro von Matičič in Dubrovnik (1974), and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna (1974-5). He was head of the orchestral program and professor of conducting 1975-8 at the Cleveland Institute. He served as assistant conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 1978-80, and shared conducting duties with Timothy Vernon on the 1979 COC tour. He was a guest conductor 1980-8 at the NAC, for the Alberta Ballet Company, and with orchestras in Calgary, Kitchener-Waterloo, London (Ont), Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Victoria. He also hosted a number of programs 1981-6 on CBC radio. McCoppin was appointed, 27 Jan 1988, music adviser and conductor of the Vancouver SO, and conducted 43 different programs that year. In 1989 he was named its principal guest conductor, music director and conductor of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and principal guest conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra; he also conducted concerts with the two largest orchestras in China, in Shanghai and Beijing, and appeared in Japan with the Tokyo and Sapporo SOs. In 1990 he conducted in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, and Mexico City, and was appointed principal guest conductor of the Syracuse SO.
McCoppin conducted the premiere of Malcolm Forsyth's Concerto for piano and orchestra (with Helmut Brauss in Edmonton, 1979), and of works by Harold Weaver and Rosemary Silversteen (with the Victoria SO in 1990). An energetic and sensitive conductor and musician, McCoppin is particularly at home with orchestral-choral repertoire of the 19th-century. He also has voiced a commitment 'to discover, nurture, and promote Canadian talent and to perform contemporary Canadian music'.
Author Bryan N.S. Gooch