Music is everywhere. It plays on the radio, television and all social media platforms. But most importantly, music is in people’s hearts. It is an instrumental tool that brings people together. Music can express real life experiences in ways words never could.
Katahj Copley is a Music Composition and Education major at UWG expected to graduate in the Fall. He devotes his time to share the gift of music that resides in his soul.
“I am a person who practices what I want to be in life every day,” said Katahj. “I want to teach composition in colleges and universities.”
After Katahj graduates, he is prepared to continue making songs about controversial topics. Although the pandemic has been troublesome for many individuals, Katahj seems unbothered. Instead, the pandemic has been pushing him to find himself in a more spiritual and artistic way. Currently he is working on two pieces: “Unspoken” and “Where the Sky Has no Stars.”
“One project I am proud of is my consortium piece ‘Unspoken,’” said Katahj. “The piece is written for young bands to perform and is dedicated to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless victims that have lost their lives to police brutality and systematic racism. For middle school children, there are not that many pieces that deal with heavy topics such as this.
“The piece uses the five stages of grief to show the emotions of these deaths and how I and many others have felt like our voices haven’t mattered,” continued Katahj. “Currently there are 100 schools signed on the “Unspoken” project.”
Both projects are very important to Katahj for many reasons. One being, he was not always in the place he is in right now.
“When I first got to the university, I was sort of a lost soul,” said Katahj. “I was not confident in my ability, and ultimately, I did not know myself.”
Aside from music, Katahj said one of the best decisions he made was joining the Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity. There he met individuals that were not only interested in his social state of being but mental state as well, and each contributed to his life in a meaningful way.
“With the help of my big brother in the organization, Casey Jones, I found myself and my confidence,” said Katahj. “With my littles, Laney Bledsoe and Ashton Smeltzer, I discovered how to share.
“The organization helped me become a better person,” continued Katahj. “They gave me a chance when I did not give myself a chance. They taught me how to maximize myself and not take anything for granted.”
With all the highs and lows Katahj has faced, he has thought about giving up, but never acted on it. In fact, not long after joining the Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity, Katahj experienced his first world premiere. UWG’s Saxophone Ensemble led by Dr. John Bleuel was an opportunity for him to share his original music with others.
“The process was unreal and was a memorable experience that I will never forget,” said Katahj. “For that, I am always grateful.”