Georgia native, Katahj Copley (b. 1998) is currently on track to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Composition at the University of West Georgia. He studies Saxophone under Dr. John Bleuel, DMA, and Composition under Dr. Glenn Eernisse, DMA.
Copley’s first work, Spectra, premiered on November 14, 2017 by the University of West Georgia’s Saxophone Ensemble. Since 2017, Copley has written over sixty pieces, including over twenty-five for Wind Band, which have been performed by many local high schools including Mt. Zion High School (under the direction of Scott Jones) and Carrollton High School (under the direction of Chris Carr). At the University of West Georgia, Copley has written pieces for UWG’s Brass Ensemble, Concert Choir, Saxophone Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble. His compositions have been performed and commissioned by colleges, organizations, universities and professional ensembles, including the 1st Infantry Brass Choir, Rhode Island Recording Ensemble, Axos Saxophone Quartet, the Admiral Launch Duo and the Nu Alpha chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi at Georgia State University.
In February of 2020, Copley’s Sunshine was featured at the Georgia Music Educators Association’s District XIII’s performance and NOVA was premiered by the University of West Georgia’s Wind Ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association Southeast Division Conference.
Aside from composing, Copley is an excited educator who teaches young musicians the joy of discovering music and why music is a phenomenal language.
“Music for me has always been this impactful thing in my life. It can soothe, it can enrage, it can quiet and it can evoke emotions that are beyond me and this world we live in. I believe that music is the ultimate source of freedom and imagination and the most freedom I have had as a musician was through composing. Composition is like me opening my heart and showing the world my drive, my passion, and my soul.”