Georgia native, Katahj Copley (b. 1998) has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Composition at the University of West Georgia. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Composition at the University of Texas at Austin.
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, for a variety of ensemble settings. These works have been performed by local Georgia high schools, such as Carrollton High School (his alma mater), Mt. Zion High School, Villa Rica High School, Central Carroll High School, and many more. He has had pieces performed by schools throughout the country as well. During his time at the University of West Georgia, Copley had 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, Nu Alpha chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi at Georgia State University, Axos Saxophone Quartet, the Admiral Launch Duo and the Atlanta Wind Symphony.
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. Copley has also received critical acclaim internationally with pieces being performed in Canada, the United Kingdom, China, and Australia.
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.”