T. J. Thompson
B.A., Eastern Illinois University; M.Mus., University of Illinois
Work Phone: 860-945-7917
Year Appointed: 2000
T.J. Thompson, a native of St. Louis, has been an educator and professional musician for more than a decade. Aside from conducting the Taft jazz and chamber ensembles, which have performed throughout the country, he has taught AP music theory and history of rock. For the last four years, he has graded the AP for ETS, this year as a table leader. This July, he will complete a second master’s degree in music education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
T.J. has conducted countless musicals at theaters throughout Connecticut, and played with the professional touring company for Annie at the Waterbury Palace Theater in 2007. He has studied jazz piano with Henry Butler and George Cables, composition and theory with Jack Melby, Zach Browning, Erik Lund, and William Brooks, woodwinds with Michael Trentelange, violin and viola with Lisa Laquidara, and conducting with Maestro Vincent LaSelva of the Juilliard School of Music.
In 2000, he performed with Betty Carte’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and as a result was featured on Branford Marsalis’ NPR show, Jazz Set. In 1998, he recorded and produced Thompson Trio Take One, an album consisting mostly of his own compositions, which received favorable reviews from Goldmine and Cadence magazines. He has opened for and worked with such artists as Terence Blanchard, Ed Thigpen, Dave Liebman, and Koko Taylor.
Before coming to Taft, T.J. taught at St. Johnsbury Academy and Johnson State College in Vermont. He resides with his wife, two daughters, and cat.