TJ Cole (she/her, they/them), originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, began her musical studies at a young age when she started taking piano lessons. Soon after, when she was six, she wrote her first composition, a piano lullaby for her new baby brother. In her early teens, she studied cello for fun by playing with local youth orchestras. When she was 16, she realized that she did not want to pursue a life of performance, but a life dedicated to creation. So she began to focus her pursuits on her passion for composing.
TJ has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, Time for Three and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, among others, and served as a composer-in-residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2014. She received her Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Besides taking commissions, TJ is also interested in artistic community service projects. She collaborated with bassist Ranaan Meyer as an orchestrator on his project, The World We All Deserve Through Music, and with First Person Arts by co-curating and performing in a musical story slam. During a year-long ArtistYear Fellowship, TJ was able to co-run and collaborate in musical performances and songwriting workshops with residents of Project HOME, a Philadelphia based organization fighting to end chronic homelessness.
Other than music, TJ also enjoys drawing, baking, and taking care of the various cats in her life: Xena, Zelda, Simmie, and Bruce.